Current Students

MRC Studentships | NIHR HPRU PhD |  LSHTM PhD students


MRC Studentships students

Harvey Aspeling-Jones

Harvey Aspeling-JonesHarvey is studying for a PhD in Professor David Conway’s group. His focus is on antigen identification and qualification for blood-stage malaria vaccine development. Specifically, the aim of the PhD is to use sequence data from clinical isolates to identify Plasmodium falciparumantigens under immune selection, with a focus on repetitive regions. Additionally, he will be assaying the invasion blocking capability of anti-bodies targeting malarial antigens.

Harvey graduated with an M degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University, carrying out a research project in structural biology. Harvey then gained an Msc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before beginning the MRC studentship in Vaccine Research. He chose to study for a PhD at the London School because it is a world leader in inter-disicplinary research into both malaria and vaccines. Harvey has also worked in media and online marketing. When not studying, Harvey plays football for the School and is a keen cyclist.

Conall Watson
Conall_Watson2Conall is a public health specialty registrar, undertaking research in vaccination programme design through an MRC-funded doctorate on the epidemiology and modelling of typhoid. Prior to this, Conall coordinated the preparations of the UK Health Protection Agency national infectious disease surveillance centre for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and worked at the Department of Health immunisation policy branch.

After qualifying as a pharmacist from the University of Nottingham and Bart’s & London hospital trust, Conall did my clinical residency at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals, providing 24/7 pharmaceutical care for acutely-ill patients and developing prescribing guidelines for the hospitals and across the local area. Conall then moved into NHS public health specialty training, working in health service commissioning, local government health improvement programmes and communicable disease control.

Samuel Thorburn
Samuel_Thorburn

Sam is a PhD student working in the Julius Hafalla group and co-supervised by Professor Eleanor Riley. His PhD project focusses on T cell mediated protection in liver stage malaria, specifically the identification of new T cell epitopes and the characterisation of the proteins they are derived from in both T cell responses and in the parasite itself. With regard to T cell responses, his PhD investigates the immunological development, activation and longevity of T cells to malaria infection. Understanding the properties of newly identified epitopes and how these initiate immune responses will provide useful information to the discipline of vaccine development and research.

Before beginning his PhD, Sam graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle University. He has spent 12 months as an industrial placement student at at GlaxoSmithKline working on refractory asthma at the research and development site in Stevenage.

Rebecca Harris
Rebecca_Harris

Rebecca is a PhD candidate for TB modelling and epidemiology in Richard White’s group. Rebecca’s research will develop mathematical models to assess the epidemiological impact of potential TB vaccines in African and Asian settings, to inform decision making by non-profit, industry and government for TB vaccine development. Additionally, she will conduct epidemiological research supporting vaccine development.

Rebecca was awarded an MBioch in Biochemistry and MSc in Global Health from Oxford University in 2008 and 2009. Subsequently, she contributed to the global H1N1 pandemic response in her capacity as Technical Officer in the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Programme. Prior to joining the School, Rebecca was a consultant Epidemiology Manager at GSK Vaccines, developing epidemiological studies for the RTS,S post-approval plan, NTD disease mapping, and as lead epidemiologist for TB.

Lisa Stockdale

Lisa Picture Lisa is working with Helen Fletcher’s group within the faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases. Her PhD project will use growth inhibition assays in order to identify therapeutic vaccine regimens with the ability to enhance efficacy of current Tuberculosis (TB) drugs. The aim is to streamline the vaccine selection process and ultimately improve treatment for patients.

Lisa graduated with a BSc in Molecular Cell Biology from York University and, after working for a Contract Research Lab in the US in early stage drug development, completed a Masters in International Public Health, also in York. Most recently Lisa worked on TB vaccine clinical development at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford.

Mateusz Hasso Agopsowicz

MatMateusz is a PhD candidate on a MRC Scholarship in Vaccine Research. He is working with Steven Smith in Hazel Dockrell’s group investigating various immune responses to BCG vaccine. His project specifically examines the epigenome of the host following BCG vaccination as well as T cell cytokine responses in BCG vaccinated infants in the UK and Uganda. Mateusz has previously graduated with MSc in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He undertook his research project with GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage investigating pro-inflammatory pathways in lung fibrosis.

Lindsey Wu

Lindsey is a PhD candidate supervised by Chris Drakeley and Immo Kleinschmidt. Her research is on the use serological markers of malaria exposure in cluster randomised trials, particularly in elimination settings where more sensitive surveillance tools are needed. Her project aims to lwu_photodevelop methods for using serology, alongside molecular and clinical endpoints, to evaluate the effectiveness of transmission blocking interventions such as vaccines and mass drug administration.

Previously, Lindsey worked in health policy and financing at The George Institute for Global Health and Policy Cures, a health consultancy. She has also worked at the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling at Imperial College London and the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network at the University of Oxford. Lindsey holds degrees in Bioengineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics, and an MSc in Public Health from LSHTM.

Helen Wagstaffethumbnail_helen-wagstaffe

Helen is a PhD student in Eleanor Riley’s group, working on the effect of vaccination on natural killer cells. Her current woHelen Wagstafferk explores the potential for NK cells to participate in the effector phase of adaptive immune responses to infection following seasonal influenza vaccination. Future work will investigate the effect of a novel vaccine on naive participants, samples will be received from an EBOVAC2 Ebola vaccine trial undertaken in France and NK cell function before and after vaccination will be assessed.

Before beginning her PhD, Helen received her BSc from The University of Leeds in Biochemistry and her MSc in Molecular Medicine from UCL. She then went on to work at UCL to complete a piece of research undertaken at the Department of Virology, UCL Royal Free Campus developing ADCC assays to measure NK cell responses to HCMV infected cells. She then took a position at a Contract Research Organisation that specialises in immunology and inflammation as a laboratory immunologist (Cell Biology Team) based at the University of Bristol.

Gurdip Singh Mann

Gurgurdip-s-manndip studies the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, causative agent of Chagas disease. He is carrying out his PhD in the group of Professor John Kelly.
His work aims to exploit the use of transgenic bioluminescent parasites and highly sensitive imaging technology to…
1. Help develop our understanding of the immune response to the infection, and
2. Develop a framework for the testing of viral vectored vaccines.

As part of his PhD Gurdip will be working in collaboration with Professor Reyes-Sandoval at the Jenner Institute, Oxford. He will work on the development of viral vectored vaccines against T. cruzi for evaluation at LSHTM using the imaging technology.

Gurdip studied his undergraduate degree at the Royal Veterinary College. His desire to study neglected diseases lead him to pursue an MSc in the ‘Immunology of Infectious Diseases’ at LSHTM before beginning his PhD.

Catherine Hall

I am a research degree student working on vaccine development for the nosocomial pathogen, Clostridium difficile with supervisors Dr Lisa Dawson and Professor Brendan Wren. My project aims to investigate both novel targets for a Clostridium difficile vaccine and novel means of synthesising such a vaccine.

Prior to my PhD, I obtained a BSc Biology at the University of York followed by a MSc in Medical Microbiology at LSHTM. I then became a research assistant at St George’s University of London, working on antimicrobial resistance and the development of point of care tests for sexually transmitted infections.

Health Protection Research Unit PhD students

Anu Jain

Anu Jain

Anu is based at the department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and is working with Dr Sara Thomas (Electronic Health Records group) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is pursuing a National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) funded doctorate on inequalities in vaccine uptake and vaccine-preventable disease burden in England.

Anu is a Medical Microbiology specialty registrar with MSc in Epidemiology and Clinical Microbiology (Merit). Her other qualifications include MRCGP (Distinction), Diploma of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Diploma in Genitourinary Medicine. Before coming to LSHTM, she worked as a registrar in Academic Microbiology, Public Health England, London where she was a part of Health Protection Agency’s Microbiology Services Division during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some of her past projects include a national audit on Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, evaluating evidence for Chlamydia trachomatis point of care testing and a national survey on Neisseria gonorrhoeae susceptibility testing. She was awarded the Royal College of Pathologists’ Research Medal Award 2014 in Medical Microbiology/Virology for her paper entitled ‘NDM carbapenemases in the United Kingdom: an analysis of the first 250 cases’.

Andreia Leite

Andreia is a PhD candidate working within the Electronic Health Records group, in the faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in partnership with Public Health England. Her PhD project focusses on vaccine safety and electronic health records, in particular on the methods used to identify adverse events to vaccines using these data.

Before starting her PhD, Andreia studied Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal and was pursuing her residency in Public Health. She has also completed an MSc in Biostatistics at the Faculty of Sciences in Lisbon, Portugal and a Master in Public Health at Umeå University, Sweden.

Rose Wilson 

Rose is a PhD candidate within the Public Trust in Vaccines project in the faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in partnership with Public Health England. The aim of her PhD project is to analyse factors contributing to non or under vaccination in pregnancy among ethnic minorities in England.

Prior to commencing the PhD, Rose completed an MA in Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS and then joined LSHTM, working closely with WHO to conduct a systematic review on vaccine hesitancy for the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE). She also conducted research commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), on vaccine hesitancy surrounding the HPV vaccine in Japan.

Maria Peppa

peppa_maria04-200x300Maria is a PhD candidate within the Electronic Health Records group, in the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in partnership with Public Health England.

Her PhD project aims to use electronic health records to investigate the safety of immunisation during pregnancy.

Prior to starting her PhD, Maria completed a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. She also holds an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

James Munday

james_mundayJames is undertaking a PhD with Katherine Atkins and Albert VanHoek as part of the NIHR HPRU for immunisation.

The focus of his work is the use of mathematical modelling to identify key drivers of vaccine controllable infectious disease in various socioeconomic sub-groups in the UK population and assess measures which may be taken to reduce health inequity in this area.  James Graduated with a masters degree in Physics from the University of Bath in 2010. He has since spent four years working with an international engineering consultancy in the fields of structural condition monitoring and structural reliability assessment.

 Tim Crocker-Buque

cropped-cropped-tim-new-pic-october-13-bw-editDr Tim Crocker-Buqué is a public health registrar currently undertaking a PhD in the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Immunisation. His project is looking at health systems factors affectingvaccine uptake and coverage at primary care level. He graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2010 with a medical degree and a masters in medical education before undertaking Foundation Programme placements across Barts Health NHS Trust in east London. After joining the speciality training programme in public health in 2013 he has completed placements at Tower Hamlets Local Authority and at the North East and Central London Health Protection Team at Public Health England before moving to LSHTM to complete an MSc in Public Health. He also manages the Ethiopian Medical Education Partnerships Project, a THET/DfID funded Health Partnership between Barts and the London and University of Exeter medical schools in the UK and two new Ethiopian medical schools at Aksum and Wollega

LSHTM PhD students

Frank Sandmannsandmann_frank01

Frank is a PhD candidate at LSHTM and also affiliated with the Modelling and Economics Unit at Public Health England (PHE). His doctoral research focusses on the true cost of epidemic and outbreak diseases in healthcare, illustrated with Norovirus-associated gastroenteritis in hospital.

Frank specialised in health economics with an MSc from the Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), and obtained a BSc in Health Sciences from the University of Twente (NL). Before starting his PhD, he worked as Research Associate at the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Sophie Rhodes

Sophie is a mathematical modeller working in Richard White’s modelling group and with Helen Fletcher. Her project is focussed on new sophierhodesmathematical modelling methods for dose finding in vaccine development. Unlike the field of pharmacometrics in drug development, mathematical modelling has never been used in vaccine development, and she hopes her project will address this gap. For this project, she uses immunological data from established TB vaccine BCG and novel TB vaccine H56 adjuvanted with IC31 in both animal and humans, and has developed a mathematical model of the T cell dynamics to calibrate to this data. The preliminary aims of her research are the following:

  1. Validate the model as a good representation of the T cell response following vaccination in both the animals and humans.
  2. Understand the relationship between human and animal responses using a comparison of the respective model parameters
  3. Use this relationship and calibrated model to choose the optimal dose in terms of immunogenicity and predict the best parameters for testing this dose response curve in humans.

Sherif Abouelhadid

Abouelhadid is a Research Assistant and PhD candidate, supervised by Prof. Brendan Wren and Dr. Jon Cuccui. Abouelhadid’s research interest is understanding the biological
role of N-linked glycans and unravelling the function of glycosylation photo-for-vaccine-centresystems in different organisms. He uses Campylobacter jejuni as a module for his studies. Parallel to his basic biology research, Abouelhadid is also interested in the biotechnological applications that can be stemmed from his basic biology research especially in exploiting the bacterial oligosaccharyltransferases and/or glycosyltransferases in developing conjugate vaccines and perhaps humanized glycoproteins.

Prior to joining LSHTM, Abouelhadid worked as a Research Assistant in the Egyptian company for production of vaccines, sera and drugs (VACSERA). His work involved development of conjugate vaccine against the causative agent of typhoid fever. Abouelhadid holds a diploma in biotechnology from Alexandria University, Egypt and BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Misr University for Science and Technology, Egypt.

Satria Arief Prabowo

Dr Satria Arief Prabowo is a PhD candidate in Immunology of Infectious Diseases in Dr Helen Fletcher’s research group. His PhD project aims tosatria identify therapeutic tuberculosis (TB) vaccine regimens that can improve current treatment. He is investigating the concept of combining vaccination with drug therapy to enhance the host immune responses and improve the overall effectiveness of currently used TB drugs. He is implementing a recently developed ex-vivo assay for assessing inhibition of mycobacterial growth to identify optimum vaccine regimens, and also investigating immune mechanisms using ELISPOT, flow cytometry, DNA microarray and Luminex analysis in both pre-clinical animal studies and clinical settings.

Prior to joining LSHTM, Satria obtained his MBBS degree (with distinction) from the Faculty of Medicine Airlangga University, Indonesia. During his study, he was awarded a scholarship for a clinical internship in the Department of Infectious Diseases, University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands. He was subsequently appointed as a researcher and was involved in a research consortium for an EU-funded grant application. His previous international publications reviewed the concept of therapeutic vaccination in TB.

John Ojal

Ojal is a PhD student at the department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Scott. The main objective of his john_ojalresearch is to predict the long-term impact of the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, introduced in Kenya in 2011, on carriage prevalence of Streptococcus Pneumoniae and resulting Invasive Pneumococcal Disease. He is using mathematical models calibrated with data from Kenya to achieve this goal. The predicted impact on disease is translated into cost-effectiveness of the programme, an assessment that is important in decision-making regarding sustainability, which currently relies heavily on donor funding since the vaccine is expensive.

Before starting his PhD research, Ojal was employed as a Medical Statistician at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust research programme in Kilifi, Kenya, where his PhD project is also based. He holds a master’s degree in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Diana Mendes

Diana is a PhD candidate supervised by Mark Jit in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM and the Modelling and Economics Unit at Public Health England. Her doctorate focuses on modelling HPV infection and cervical cancer progression to analyse the mendes_diana01impact and cost-effectiveness of alternative cervical screening strategies in Portugal.  This research is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

Diana qualified as a pharmacist at the University of Lisbon and holds an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York. Before starting her PhD, she worked for the Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre on cost-effectiveness evaluations of medical interventions to inform NICE’s recommendations on their use within the NHS.