Vera Unwin

PhD student

Vera gained her BSc (Hons) Biomedical sciences at the University of Dundee, before completing her MSc in Medical Parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. There she carried out field work in the Amazon, Brazil working on diagnostics for Leishmania transmission.

She went on to work at The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford in the malaria- vaccine development group. In 2013, she joined the AWOL at the LSTM on a Gates Grand Challenges project. After briefly working on TB and Household Air Pollution, she started and is currently undertaking a PhD.


Vera is developing an integrated diagnostic tool for detection of malaria in elimination settings. Her focus is to develop a sensitive assay for the screening asymptomatic populations with low parasitaemias. She is also developing a xenomonitoring tool that incorporates detection of insecticide-resistance markers.

Her PhD is funded by an MRC CASE studentship with an industrial placement at diagnostics company Epistem. Epistem’s handheld, Point-Of-Care, molecular testing device is being investigated as a possible platform for these assays.

Teaching: Demonstrating for DTMH and MSc students

Research grants: Jean Clayton award, 2016

Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.: BSP and RSTMH