Welcome to the new members of the International Research Group on prevention and management of non-communicable diseases and HIV-infection.

Blog 9 Nov 2020
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We welcome our latest team members

Layla Smith

Layla Smith

I’m a project manager from the UK who has worked on numerous international public health projects.

It may sound cheesy, but I’m passionate about working in a sector that does good and that improves the lives of people who are vulnerable or marginalised. I’m incredibly lucky to work on projects that truly make a long-term difference to people’s lives through the use and generation of evidence.

Where were you before LSTM?

After a number of years in NGOs working on sexual reproductive health and hunger and livelihood interventions across Asia and Africa, I joined the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2013 to work on a large HIV/AIDs clinical trial and never looked back. I moved into the world of Malaria in 2015 managing a variety of public health research projects. The focus on generating evidence to inform policy, as well as the capacity building work in the countries in which we work (both in terms of scientists and programme management) was inspiring  and I knew I’d found my ‘thing’.

In 2019 I took a career break and travelled around Asia/Pacific. After 18 months scuba diving (making friends with blue whales, manta rays and sharks whilst completing my divemaster training), wildlife spotting, learning to surf and rock climb (varying degrees of success) and hiking, it was time to come back to the UK.

Why have you moved to LSTM?

I had worked with LSTM before on a few projects that the London School were involved in – I knew that LSTM was highly respected, and did great work. I saw the role of Programme Officer advertised and it looked brilliant- something that I could do well in, continue to work on important projects whilst learning a lot. That coupled with a desire to leave the frenetic pace of London meant that LSTM felt like a natural progression for me. Plus Liverpool is a great city and the people are super friendly!

What do you hope to do in LSTM?

I want to be active member of the team, using my skills and experience to ensure the smooth running of the projects. I’d like to get involved with programme management capacity building activities - something which I feel is hugely important. I’m also excited to get involved in communications work to showcase the good work the group is doing both internally and externally.

Katie Bates

I am working as a Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology at LSTM. I have a background in anthropology, demography, epidemiology and health systems research.
Where were you before LSTM? Before I began working with LSTM, I was at the Medical University Innsbruck, I also hold an Honorary Research Fellow position at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Why have you moved to LSTM? Aside from the reputation of LSTM both for excellence in research and teaching, I have moved to LSTM to be part of an innovative study exploring the integration of care for chronic conditions in Africa.
What do you hope to do in LSTM? I am really looking forward to contributing to research on integrated management in Africa, chronic conditions occurring alongside infectious diseases are a huge burden to health systems worldwide and the problem is anticipated to become one of the biggest public health challenges for Africa. I hope to be able to contribute to research in this area through my work on the INTE-AFRICA study, which asks if integrated management could help tackle this dual burden at reasonable cost to both the health system and the patient.