- 15 November 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 15 november 2018, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 3, central Building
New tools in the neglected tropical diseases arsenal
Professor Don McManus,
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic/bacterial diseases that cause substantial morbidity for more than one billion people globally. Affecting the world’s poorest people, NTDs cause severe disability, hinder growth, productivity and cognitive development, and often end in death; children are disproportionately affected. Asia is a NTD hot spot claiming some of the highest infection rates in the world, second only to that of sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately one-third of the world’s parasitic worm infestations occur in this region. In this seminar, Professor McManus will summarise his laboratory’s recent studies on the development of novel interventions for the control of schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections in Asia, tools that are important for the integrated control of these insidious diseases. His group’s research in pathogen genomics, schistosomiasis vaccine development/trialling, molecular diagnostics, and the outcomes of a successful video-based health educational intervention package (‘The Magic Glasses’), tested in cluster-randomised controlled trials in China, the Philippines and Vietnam, will be featured.
Professor Don McManus is Senior Scientist and Head of the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer. He is a NHMRC SPRF, holding professorial positions at The University of Queensland, Griffith University and ANU. He undertook PhD training at the University of Wales and was a research fellow/lecturer at Imperial College, UK before moving to QIMR Berghofer in 1989. Professor McManus has devoted his life’s work to the prevention and treatment of NTDs. The debilitating effects of schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and other parasitic and intestinal worm infections constitute a significant global health problem, with children forming the majority of those at risk. Around 700 million people live in more than 70 countries where the Schistosoma parasites are common and among parasitic diseases, schistosomiasis is second only to malaria in the economic and personal devastation caused. Professor McManus’ visionary approach continues to link basic and applied research, and his commitment to international field and laboratory studies with his multi-skilled team has translated into workable, innovative and practical control strategies. With decades of transformative-research contributions, his ultimate goal is the global elimination of diseases which are the cause of extensive human suffering. Professor McManus is the Sornchai Looareesuwan Medal Winner 2018 for his distinguished achievements in tropical medicine research.