Having undergone initial medical training in Guatemala, Luis trained in Paediatrics, Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine and joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as a research fellow in 1987. He has collaborations and studies in a number of countries; currently including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at the University of Sergipe, Brazil and is interim Head of the Department of Clinical Sciences.
Luis's work focuses on the epidemiology and diagnosis of infectious diseases in the tropics, particularly in tuberculosis, diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Most of his research is conducted on health problems causing high burden of disease in low income countries aiming to improve access to diagnosis and treatment for disadvantaged populations. In collaboration with Yassin (Global Fund) he developed diagnostic approaches to reach a diagnosis of TB the same-day (same-day or frontloading schemes) which were adopted by the World Health Organization in 2011. Poor populations however often have limited access to diagnosis and treatment services and health systems should ideally identify and treat individuals at the local level. With Yassin and Theobald (LSTM), we developed community-based approaches to identify individuals with TB at the village level. These approaches have doubled the number of cases detected and improved treatment completion in Ethiopia and Nigeria.
Luis has been instrumental in the promotion of research on child TB and contributed to the WHO/TDR and NIH (USA) consensus research definitions for child TB.
He is involved in conducting long term post-licensure evaluations of rotavirus vaccines and, with Prof Gurgel, we have monitored the impact of vaccines on medical consultations, hospitalizations and mortality in Brazil.
Luis has a major interest in the development and evaluation of new diagnostics. With Prof Lawson in Nigeria, he is evaluating new diagnostic platforms for TB and, with Dr Emily Adams (LSTM), we are developing new point of care diagnostics for TB/HIV and selected emerging infections (e.g. Chikungunya).
Other relevant expertise
- Member, European Forum for TB Innovation, European Respiratory Society (2012 - 14).
- Founding Member, TB Diagnostics Research Forum, NIH/NIAID (2012 – ).
- Core member, ECDC expert consultation for TB diagnostics in children (2009 -11).
- Chair, Working Sub-Group to optimise smear microscopy, Stop TB Partnership (2006 -11).
- Member WHO/TDR Diagnostics Evaluation Expert Panel on TB diagnostics (2007 - 11).