Dr Emily Adams

Reader in Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases

Prior to joining LSTM in 2013 I worked for the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam Netherlands in the Biomedical Research Department for 5 years. Here I developed molecular diagnostics tests for parasitological diseases including Trypanosomiasis, Malaria and Leishmaniasis. I conducted evaluations for RDTs and molecular tests in Ethiopia, Sudan, Colombia and Suriname. I also taught a molecular diagnostics course in several countries including Rwanda, Kenya and Sudan. Additionally, I acted as a consultant for WHO-TDR in their RDT evaluation for Leishmaniasis and conducted training in country.

I undertook my PhD at Bristol University in the development of molecular tests for the detection of Trypanosomiasis. As part of this I conducted research in Tanzania in endemic foci of Human African Trypanosomiasis.   


My research activities encompass the development and evaluation of appropriate diagnostics for infectious disease. This ranges from point-of-care diagnostics such as rapid-diagnostic-tests (RDTs) to simplified molecular diagnostics that can be used at the community level.

Diagnostics Development

I am the diagnostic lead of the Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics (CDD) hosted by LSTM. We collaborate with a variety of SMEs and larger diagnostic companies to perform diagnostic development for infectious disease. We have projects ranging from detection of Anti-Microbial Resistance targets to the development of multiplex panel field tests for emerging infectious diseases and parasitology. We focus on the development of tests that can be used in community settings where diagnostic results can initiate prompt and appropriate therapy. 

Diagnostic Evaluation Platform 

Within the CDD we are able to offer the ability to perform alpha and beta testing for diagnostics in our Cat 2 and 3 laboratories. Further we enable field testing of diagnostics internationally from community settings to reference laboratory situations. We currently have evaluations for Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya diagnostics in Guatemala and Brazil (MRC funded), HIV and TB in Nigeria (EDCTP funded), Visceral Leishmaniasis (Wellcome Seed Fund), Malaria in Indonesia (part of the STOP MIP consortia) and Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminths in Ghana and Cameroon (part of COUNTDOWN funded by DFID). 

I am consultant for FIND, the Foundation for Innovation New Diagnostics, and attend expert meetings for WHO and the Gates Foundation on diagnostics for parasitology. 

I am a member of the NTD modelling consortia and the Diagnostics modelling consortia funded by the Gates Foundation. 

Recent Grants:

  • Medical Research Council Rapid Response call
  • Novel point of care molecular diagnostics for the simultaneous diagnosis of Zika, Chikungunya and dengue infections in Latin America (PI Luis Cuevas)
  • MRC Confidence in Concept
  • The development of a multiplex assay for the detection of antimicrobial resistance markers and bacterial identification in Gram-negative sepsis
  • Wellcome Trust Seed Fund
  • Diagnostics for Visceral Leishmaniasis in elimination campaigns
  • EDCTP2
  • A one stop shop for the same day diagnosis and management of TB and HIV  (PI Luis Cuevas)
  • MRC:CASE studentship & Epistem
  • Diagnostic development for malaria elimination
  • NTD diagnostics modelling consortium
  • Modelling Visceral Leishmaniasis transmission
  • COUNTDOWN: DFID funding (PI Mark Taylor) Programme of Implementation Research to Inform the Effective and Sustainable Scaling-Up of Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease Control Initiatives.

Selected publications

  • Book chapters and reports

    Adams ER, Molecular detection of human parasitic pathogens: Trypanosoma (2012). Chapter 12, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA

    Adams ER, Hasker E & Cunningham JC. (2011) Visceral Leishmaniasis Rapid Diagnostic Test Performance on behalf of WHO-TDR.