Pubished on: 13 April, 2017
Deus Thindwa, a graduate epidemiologist at MLW, has secured a competitive two-year research assistant position with the Malaria Modelling Group (https://www1.imperial.ac.uk/malariamodelling/) at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Imperial College London (ICL), in the UK, funded by a UK Royal Society Challenge grant and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As part of the collaboration between the ICL MRC Centre and the Malaria Epidemiology Group (http://www.mlw.medcol.mw/index.php/malaria-home-page.html), Deus will train in statistical and mathematical modelling methods to explore the potential spread of drug resistance with novel intermittent preventive treatment options for malaria in pregnancy. The research will use patient data from clinical studies, specifically an upcoming MRC/WT/DFiD Global Health Trial in Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania, which will assess the efficacy of alternative treatment options for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy, led by Prof ter Kuile from LSTM and Dr Mwayi Madanitsa from COM, and collaborating with Dr Anja Terlouw from MLW.
Working with malaria modellers Dr Lucy Okell (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/l.okell), Dr Patrick Walker (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/patrick.walker06) and supported by MLW’s malaria epidemiologist Dr Anja Terlouw, Deus will be based at the ICL MRC Centre in London with visits to MLW and the Kenya medical research institute (KEMRI) (https://www.kemri.org/).
The collaboration aims to strengthen capacity in infectious disease modelling, particularly the analysis and modelling of data generated from epidemiological and clinical research of malaria in LMICs, increase the institutional collaboration between MLW, MRC Centre and other institutions in this area, and complement the current malaria spatial epidemiology research at MLW.
As Deus explained: “The Research Assistant position at ICL MRC Centre will allow me to work in an area I am truly passionate about. It will be exciting to train with such a distinguished malaria modelling group and gain insight into the latest methodological innovations and developments in analysis and modelling of intervention impact of malaria in pregnancy, while working towards a PhD as my next career goal. I look forward to joining the malaria epidemiology group, and believe my research will complement the ongoing research in spatial epidemiology and pharmaco-epidemiology in the group.”
Dr Lucy Okell at the ICL MRC Centre commented: “We are excited about beginning our collaboration with MLW and look forward to welcoming Deus at our Centre and also to visiting MLW during the project. Mathematical modelling techniques are increasingly being applied to inform national and international malaria policies, and it is essential these analyses are based on rigorous data and carried out in collaboration with researchers in endemic areas to ensure they address relevant, real-life questions in a realistic way. Deus’s strong background in mathematics, epidemiology and involvement in research studies will give him an excellent head start in further training and research in mathematical modelling. We hope this project will lead to further future collaborative mathematical modelling projects and training in Malawi and the wider region”.