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Marcello Scopazzini



PhD title: Tuberculosis and the heart: determining the burden and natural history of cardiac pathology at TB diagnosis among patients living with and without HIV in Zambia (September 2022 onw.)

I am an infectious diseases and general medicine registrar. My interest in exploring the impact of tuberculosis on cardiac health began at LSTM, and subsequently in clinical work in Malawi, East Timor and India. The convergent impact of communicable and non-communicable disease burden in lower-resourced settings is an acute public health concern and I seek to quantify the prevalence and describe the natural history of cardiac pathology in patients with tuberculosis in a prospective study in Zambia.

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Sarah Sturrock



PhD title: Using machine learning to develop a risk stratification tool for neonatal sepsis in low-resource settings (March 2023 onw.)

I am a paediatric junior doctor and researcher interested in infectious disease and neonatology. Since 2020, I have been working with Prof Le Doare’s team at St George’s, University of London researching neonatal infections including neonatal outcomes after maternal exposure to SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and the changing landscape of neonatal infections in neonatal intensive care in London. My project aims to develop a risk stratification model for early-onset neonatal sepsis in low resource settings. 

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Kondwelani John Mateyo

PhD title: Using simplified, artificial intelligence read lung ultrasound (AI-LUS). (January 2023 onw.)

I am a Respiratory. Physician at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. I head the Respiratory Unit, which is the only specialised respiratory unit in the country, serving as the focus of care and consultation across the country. Over the past few years the focus has been to grow the team in the unit, improve care and establish and expand clinical research. My collaborative research work in the past year has gravitated towards the use of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, using chest radiograph tools. The CREATE fellowship is a continuation of this these, using another modality that is safer, easier to use and potentially a game-changer in TB diagnostics. It has the potential of profound impact in morbidity and mortality-heavy communities, such as ours, through early diagnosis.

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Mary K Tumushime

PhD title: Developing and evaluating novel interventions to facilitate Sexually Transmitted Infection control in Zimbabwe. (January 2023 onw.) 

I am an early career public health researcher with 10 years' experience in the fields of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH), primarily in southern Africa. I have end-to-end experience in developing and conducting implementation science and operational research studies using quantitative methods, including data collection, analysis ,and reporting.

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Rumbidzai Gumbie



PhD title: Developing, implementing and evaluating clinic based integrated sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people living with HIV in Zimbabwe (September 2022 onw.)

I am a Registered Nurse and worked as Clinical Nurse Educator in primary care specialising in medical-surgical nursing. My goal is to specialise in clinical research that contributes to increasing access to quality health care, including effective care and treatment for HIV, with a focus on strengthening health systems. As part of the CREATE PhD program, I will be investigating integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people living with HIV in Zimbabwe.

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Josephine Prynn



PhD title: Dementia in older adults in Uganda: evaluating prevalence, associated factors, and impact on individuals and their carers. (September 2023 onw.)

I am a specialist trainee in Geriatric Medicine in London. I have a passion for the health of older people and am excited to be investigating dementia epidemiology in Uganda as part of the CREATE Fellowship. I have developed my research skills through an MSc in Epidemiology at LSHTM and a year working with the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit in 2017-2018. I have also completed an Academic Clinical Fellowship where I focused on disability related to dementia in low-income settings.

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Miriam Nakanwagi

PhD title: Determinants of Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) transmission in children and adolescents in Uganda. 

I am a medical doctor. and public health specialist with additional training in epidemiology.  I managed and co-ordinated health programs in maternal and childhood illnesses including HIV and tuberculosis for over 8 years.  I have key competencies in epidemiological analyses, operational and programmatic research, scientific writing and communication, program co-ordination, policy formulation and review, quality assurance and program resource mobilisation.  I am passionate about child health related research and epidemiology and have published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals.

The CREATE PhD Programme is, in part, an evolution of the previous Bloomsbury Centre’s Wellcome Clinical PhD Programme in Global Health Research (2018-2022). The following fellows were recruited under this programme and form part of the larger community of support connected with the CREATE PhD Programme for the remainder of their fellowships.


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Ana Bonell



PhD Title: Climate change, maternal health and birth outcomes: how does environmental heat affect pregnancy and birth outcomes in The Gambia (2018 onw.)

I am a Wellcome funded Clinical Research Fellow working on maternal health and climate change. My research focuses on the direct impact of extreme heat on pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes.

I am a clinical doctor with training in anaesthetics and intensive care as well as an MSc in epidemiology. I also coordinate the Planetary Health Network and am a member of the management group of the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health.

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Rachael Burke



PhD title: Improving outcomes for people living with HIV admitted to hospital in Malawi: Computer Aided Screening for Tuberculosis in Low Resource Environments (CASTLE) trial (2019 onw.)


I am an Infectious Disease and General (Internal) Medicine registrar from the London Training Scheme. I am based in Malawi with the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme. My research interests are in tuberculosis and HIV co-infection, improving infectious disease diagnostics and in reducing in-hospital mortality for people living with HIV in low income settings.

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Claire Calderwood



PhD title: Integrated multi-disease health checks for TB affected households (IMBA Hutano): an evaluation of multimorbidity and the acceptability and yield of integrated health screening in Southern Africa (2021 onw.)

I am a Respiratory StR who joined the Wellcome Global Health Programme in 2021 after an MSc in Epidemiology from LSHTM and an Academic Clinical Fellowship at UCL. I am based in Zimbabwe where my PhD is investigating the relationship between chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and malnutrition and tuberculosis. 

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Kate Gaskell

Twitter: @katekmg

PhD title: MDR TB exposed household contacts. Forgotten but not ignored. (2017 onw.)


I am an academic clinician, working towards specialisation in infectious diseases in the UK. I went to medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland, spending my junior doctor years across Scotland and West London. I completed an MSc TMIH and DTMH at LSHTM. My interests lie in preventative medicine, specifically in multi drug resistant (MDR) TB exposed contacts. Working in Lima, Peru my PhD centres around household exposure to MDR TB, timelines for disease onset, secondary attack rates and risk of transmission. During the pandemic I have worked on SARS-CoV-2 household transmission.

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Alex Keeley



PhD Title: Does humoral immunity to candidate-vaccine antigens protect from Group A Streptococcus colonisation and disease in a longitudinal household cohort study in The Gambia? (2021 onw.)

I am an adult infectious diseases and general medicine registrar, and a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD fellow. I will be based in The Gambia, where I will be investigating antibody mediated immune responses to Strep A (Group A Streptococcus / Streptococcus pyogenes). I'm very excited to be joining such an inspiring community of researchers.

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Kevin Martin



PhD title: Integration of point-of-care diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections in antenatal care in Zimbabwe (2021 onw.)

I am a UK clinician, training in genitourinary medicine and internal medicine, and a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellow. I first came to Zimbabwe in 2019, where I am currently based, as part of an MSc in Tropical Medicine and International Health at LSHTM. This laid the groundwork for my PhD, which is investigating the use of point-of-care diagnostics for STIs in antenatal care in Harare.

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Hannah Rickman



PhD title: Spatial heterogeneity of tuberculosis in Blantyre, Malawi: approaches to defining high-risk areas for targeted intervention (2021 onw.)

I am an infectious diseases / general medicine registrar and clinical PhD fellow, based in Blantyre with the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust.


I graduated from Cambridge University in 2012 and completed foundation and core medical training in London. In 2016 I did the LSHTM DTM&H in East Africa and In 2018-2019 I completed a Master's in Public Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on a Sommer Scholarship, with a concentration in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. I returned to ID/GIM registrar training as an Academic Clinical Fellow at LSHTM, and started my PhD in 2021. My interests are in TB, epidemiology and equity.

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Anja Saso



PhD Title: Vaccine-induced systemic and mucosal immunity to Bordetella pertussis in infancy: bringing B- and T-cell responses together (2019 onw.)

I am a paediatrician and Wellcome-Trust Clinical PhD Fellow based in The Gambia. My work focuses on improving maternal and child health outcomes, specifically through translational research within infection, immunity and vaccinology.

I work with the Infant Immunology research group within the Vaccine & Immunity Theme at the MRC Unit The Gambia. I was awarded the one-year Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support under Imperial College London in 2018-19, followed by the Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellowship in Global Health Research with LSHTM in 2019.

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Keira Skolimowska

PhD title: The role of platelets, and effect of aspirin, on neuroinflammation in TB meningitis (2020 onw.)

I completed Graduate Entry Medicine at Oxford University and obtained an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in Infectious Diseases/General Internal Medicine. I also completed the Global Health in Humanitarian Medicine course, hosted by Médecins Sans Frontières, UK, through which I obtained the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H).

My academic focus is to better understand the host immune response to TB with the aim of revealing potential targets for host-directed therapies that are urgently required in the era of rising TB drug resistance.

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Joe Piper

PhD title: Effect of early-life nutrition and WASH interventions on the long-term health of Zimbabwean children (2019 onw.)

 I am a paediatric doctor (London-based trainee ST5) and Wellcome Trust Global Health clinical PHD fellow. I am based at Queen Mary University of London and Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research. I am investigating the long-term effects of early-life interventions by performing school-aged follow up of the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial in Zimbabwe. This study randomised pregnant mothers to improved Sanitation, nutrition or standard of care. I am interested in the determinants and holistic measures of children’s health, growth, physical and cognitive development.

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David McGregor

PhD title: Evaluating artemisinin-based combination therapy drug resistance in the context of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine mass drug administration on Soga Island on the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea-Bissau (2021 onw.)

I am an emergency medicine physician based in London. As a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow my aim is to evaluate novel approaches to identify and monitor P. falciparum hotspots of malaria transmission and resistance in the context of mass drug administration. Prior to my PhD, I graduated from medicine at UCL and undertook an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship at Barts/QMUL. I also completed an MSc TMIH at LSHTM, and an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health on a Fulbright Scholarship.


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Ioana Olaru



PhD title: Understanding Gram-negative resistance in Zimbabwe (2018 onw.)

I am an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist with an interest in antimicrobial resistance and use in low-resource settings.

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Jonathan Sturgeon

PhD tittle: The role of enteropathy and inflammation in Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) (2019 onw.)

I am a paediatrician doctor and Wellcome Trust clinical PhD fellow (administered by LSHTM) looking at malnutrition and its effect on the gut and the immune system in children. I am doing clinical research studies as sub-studies of the HOPE-SAM and TAME trials. I am based at Queen Mary, University of London, and I am working at Zvitambo Institute of Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe. I am interested in the body's response to infection, how it is affected by the gut and by malnutrition. I am aiming to subspecialise in paediatric infectious diseases. 

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Fiona Cresswell

PhD tittle: Improving diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis meningitis. (2017 onw.)

HIV-related brain infections, particularly TB meningitis, has been the focus of my research for the last 5 years and I completed my PhD in 2021. My PhD research led me towards being part of the HARVEST consortium, a group of investigators from Uganda, South Africa, Indonesia, USA and Netherlands who are conducting a phase III randomised double-blinded placebo controlled clinical trial investigating whether high dose rifampicin can reduce death and disability from TB meningitis. In parallel, I'm developing an interest in long-acting injectable HIV treatments. I am keen to study the effectiveness, safety and optimal implementation strategies of injectable HIV therapies in African setting. I'm site principal investigator of an ongoing phase III clinical trial of 2-monthly injectable cabotegravir/rilpivirine trial of the same regimen in people with a history of sub-optimal HIV control (IMPALA study).

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Ceri Evans

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Sharif Ismail

Twitter: @SharifIsmail1

PhD title: HIV, and immune activation and clinical outcomes of mothers and infants in rural Zimbabwe (2017 onw.)


I am a paediatrician and Wellcome Clinical Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London in the UK and the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe. I have clinical and research interests in paediatric infection and immunity, particularly related to immune development and clinical outcomes of children who are HIV-exposed but uninfected.

PhD title: Strengthening national vaccination delivery systems for displaced populations in protracted crises (2018 onw.)

I am a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow at LSHTM, and a Specialist Registrar in Public Health in London. I was previously a Health Advisor at the then UK Department for International Development (DFID), and most recently with the National Infection Service at Public Health England (PHE). Before qualifying in medicine, I worked in policy analysis for RAND Europe, the Institute for Government, and the Nuffield Trust. At LSHTM, I help to deliver the Issues in Public Health and Principles and Practice of Public Health modules as part of the MSc in Public Health at the School, and also contribute to the distance learning MSc module, Control of Infectious Diseases (IDM104).

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