LSTM students present their work at RSTMH ‘Research in Progress’ conference

News article 12 Dec 2019
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LSTM students, Angus More O'Ferrall and Hamish Baxter, doing their research in Malawi

LSTM MSc students in Tropical Disease Biology and Humanitarian Studies presented their work at the RSTMH ‘Research in Progress’ conference at the University of London, earlier this week.

The one-day meeting was designed specifically for early career investigators to present their unpublished research in progress to peers and senior experts in all fields of tropical medicine and global health. Researchers speaking at the conference came from across the UK and as far afield as Cameroon and Pakistan. In addition, conference attendees also had the opportunity to take part in mentoring sessions throughout the day.

LSTM students Angus More O'Ferrall and Hamish Baxter, gave 15-minute talks followed by questions to the conference audience about their research into urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis in Lake Malawi. Whilst at LSTM, Angus researched the changing epidemiological landscape of urogenital schistosomiasis, and presented his work studying the prevalence of this disease and associated morbidity in school children. Whilst Hamish spent his time at LSTM studying the emergence of intestinal schistosomiasis along the shoreline of Lake Malawi.

Of presenting at the conference Angus and Hamish said: “The conference gave us a valuable opportunity to present our work on schistosomiasis to a friendly and engaged audience. We also had the fantastic experience of listening to and meeting other early career investigators who share a common goal of reducing the burden of disease in low-income settings.”

Director of Studies for the Masters in Tropical Disease Biology, Dr James La Course, continued: “I’m delighted Angus and Hamish have engaged with this opportunity to communicate such excellent original research emerging from their MSc dissertation projects with LSTM. Although still in progress, it’s important these emerging findings and contributions to our knowledge are disseminated as rapidly and widely as possible beyond the library shelf so to speak. I’m particularly thankful to RSTMH for this conference format where such emerging results can be presented by students and early career researchers who benefit from the friendly and nurturing atmosphere. Big thanks too to Professor Russell Stothard, Dr Seke Kayuni and the Malawi team (Peter Makaula, Fanuel Lampiano & Lazarus Juziwelo) for their supervision, care and enormous enthusiasm in supporting Angus and Hamish throughout.”

Two other LSTM MSc Humanitarian Studies students, Leo Wood and Kieran Barnes, presented their work on perceptions of snakebite in local communities in Kenya.

There was a prize for the best oral presentation, which was won by Hannah Rafferty from LSHTM for her talk on ‘Prevalence of cervical dysplasia by visual inspection acetic acid (VIA) is increased in women with female genital schistosomiasis; a cross-sectional study in Zambia’.

Around 150 people attended – there were inspiring keynote lectures from Professor David Warrell (RSTMH Sir Patrick Manson Medal winner 2019) and Dr Samson Kinyanjui (RSTMH Chalmers Medal winner 2019), as well as other presentations covering a range of neglected tropical diseases and health issues affecting low-income countries.