LSTM celebrates its 125th anniversary by launching a campaign to help build resilience, skills, and capacity in lower income countries

News article 14 Oct 2022
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Professor Charles Wondji

LSTM is celebrating 125 years of expertise in science, research, and innovation. The school is marking its 125th anniversary by looking to the future and launching a fundraising campaign to grow skills, capacity, and resilience, in lower and middle-income countries.

The 125 Fundraising Campaign aims to leverage strategic investment in the research leaders of the future, over a ten-year period, by investing in partnerships and people, globally.  

A prestigious receptionat the House of Commons, to mark the launch of the 125 Campaign, was attended by LSTM’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. 80 guests, from across the globe,including philanthropists, politicians, policy makers, and academics, were also at the event. Professor Charles Wondji, LSTM Vector Biologist, based in Cameroon, gave a talk about his own career journey, from Early Career Researcher at LSTM, to pre-eminent academic at the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID), in Cameroon.  

LSTM has a rich history, and the 125 Campaign is a chance for the School to reflect on its history and colonial legacy, whilst positioning itself as a vehicle for future equitable change. As a custodian of immense scientific knowledge, LSTM’s expertise in areas like malaria, sleeping sickness, Covid 19, Ebola, anti-venom therapeutics, and monkeypox has led to the development of many new treatments and disease preventions. Unique national and international partnershipsmean LSTM is uniquely placed to help solve some of humanity’s major health challenges. 

LSTM’s Director, Professor David Lalloo, explained how the campaign contributes to LSTM’s legacy: “LSTM aims to move from being a UK based organisation, operating abroad, to a truly global network of multi-disciplinary experts.The 125 campaign enables us to strengthen our skill-sharing and collaborations with experts in sub-Saharan and Asian countries thatface the burden of neglected and tropical diseases.” 

He added: “Through 125, LSTM will create a Global Fellowship Programme to support 25 exceptional, promising researchers with funding and mentoring, whilst a Global Leaders Programme creates senior research leadership positions in Malawi, Kenya, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. LSTM will work with this powerful global research network to continue building capacity and skills, where they are most needed in the world.”   

LSTM is looking for donors from across the globe to partner with, through this important new fundraising campaign. It is an opportunity to play a significant role in developing international disease resilient networks, whilst also supporting important UK-based research like a new Human Challenge clinical trials facility, in Liverpool. This will be the largest, dedicated in-patient clinical trials facility in the UK. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of taking a collaborative and organic approach to medical research – one that recognises the inter-connectedness of the modern world. 

The 125 Campaign will gather pace throughout 2023 – the official 125th year anniversary of the beginning of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s story. A programme of special events will take place throughout the year, including lectures by thought leaders from the world of science, academia, and innovation, webinars, art exhibitions, and a pop-up museum. 

To reflect on the successes of the last 125 years, LSTM is also putting together a collection of people’s recollections, experiences, and stories, in relation to LSTM. To contribute to the 125 stories and to find out more about the upcoming programme of events, for the anniversary, visit:www.lstmed.ac.uk/125.