Professor Hilary Ranson

Professor of Medical Entomology, LITE Technical Advisor

Hilary obtained a BSc in Biology from the University of York, MSc in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Molecular Entomology from Cardiff University. She spent two years at the University of Notre Dame, USA on Wellcome Trust International Travelling Fellowship before returning to Cardiff University as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. She joined LSTM in 2001 and was Head of the Department of Vector Biology from 2010-2019.

Hilary is leading LSTM’s preparations for REF 2021 and is a member of the Senior Management Group.

Research

Hilary’s research activities encompass various aspects related to the control of mosquito vectors of human disease. She has a particular interest in the causes and consequences of insecticide resistance and her group have been using a variety of bioassay and molecular approaches to study the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes.

Hilary has coordinated several interdisciplinary projects in vector control including the European Union FP7 collaborative project, AvecNet from 2010-2016 (AvecNet EU) and the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award ‘Malaria in Insecticide Resistant Africa (MIRA). Further information on some of the current projects Hilary is leading is provided below.

Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC)
PIIVeC is a research capability strengthening partnership supported by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund. By investing in individuals and institutes in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi and the UK, and working with a wide range of stakeholders, we are building the evidence base for vector control. PIIVeC is also supporting policy makers in utilizing this evidence in defining and implementing vector control strategies.

ESSENTIALS (website under construction)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Funded ESSENTIALs project is developing entomological indicators to assess the performance of new classes of insecticide treated nets. Utilising a range of benchtop and field assays the project is determine how effective the new classes of insecticide treated nets, currently being deployed in Africa to combat pyrethroid resistance, are against different vector populations in Benin, Burkina Faso and Tanzania. Working with Imperial College, the project will test whether a combination of entomological evaluation and mathematical model can predict the impact of switching to new classes of nets on malaria cases in different epidemiological settings.

Liverpool Insect Testing Establishment (LITE)
The Liverpool Insect Testing Establishment provides a professional service to screen new vector control products against insecticide resistant populations of mosquitoes. LITE maintains a range of insecticide susceptible and resistant colonies of mosquitoes, many unique to LSTM, and offers a number of alternative protocols for insecticide efficacy testing.

PhD students

Jessica Williams: Preparing for field release of new insecticides

Leslie Choi:  The role of entomological outcomes in informing global malaria vector control policy

Teaching

Hilary participates in the teaching of the Masters programmes in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors and Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors,

Postdocs and Programme Managers 

Helen Williams: Manager of LITE

Dr Eddie Thomsen:  Programme Manager, PIIVeC

Dr Eve Worrall:  Senior Programme Manager 

Sharon Mullane:  Programme Co-ordinator

Dr Rosemary Lees:  Programme Manager 

Dr Vicky Ingham:  Postdoc studying mechanisms of pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae

Dr Linda Grigoraki: Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow

Dr Federica Guglielmo:  Anthropologist

Dr Jim Maas:  Mathematical Biologist

Technicians

Marion Morris  

Giorgio Praulins

Ruth Cowlishaw

Jessie Carson

Sara Elg

Current grants

GCRF Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PI)

Innovative Vector Control Consortium, Liverpool Insecticide Testing Establishment. (PI)

Developing Entomological Indicators to assess the public health value on next-generation insecticide-treated nets (PI)

Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.

  • Member of Vector Control Advisory Group, WHO
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Insect Molecular Biology and Medical and Veterinary Entomology
  • Member of Royal Society International Collaborations Panel
  • Member of UK Advisory Committee on Malaria Prophylaxis
  • Fellow of Royal Entomological Society

Selected publications

  • Ingham VA, Anthousi A, Douris V, Harding NJ, Lycett G, Morris M, et al. A sensory appendage protein protects malaria vectors from pyrethroids. Nature. 2020;577(7790):376-+.

    Gleave K, Lissenden N, Richardson M, Choi L, Ranson H. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) combined with pyrethroids in insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria in Africa. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2018(11).

    Tiono AB, Ouedraogo A, Ouattara D, Bougouma EC, Coulibaly S, Diarra A, et al. Efficacy of Olyset Duo, a bednet containing pyriproxyfen and permethrin, versus a permethrin-only net against clinical malaria in an area with highly pyrethroid-resistant vectors in rural Burkina Faso: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2018;392(10147):569-80.

    Churcher TS, Lissenden N, Griffin JT, Worrall E and Ranson H 2016, The impact of pyrethroid resistance on the efficacy and effectiveness of bednets for malaria control in Africa. E-Life pii: e16090

    Viana, M., Hughes, A., Matthiopoulos, J., Ranson, H. and Ferguson. H.M. 2016, Delayed mortality effects cut the malaria transmission potential of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. vol 113, no 30 8975-80.