Bill Gates visited the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on Tuesday 25 October, meeting with leading researchers in areas including malaria, neonatal health and vaccine development, as well as hearing presentations about some of the School’s cutting-edge work.
Professor Peter Piot, Director of the School, welcomed Mr Gates and gave an overview of the School. He explained how colleagues are working with partners and funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to address urgent global health issues.
Professor Chris Drakeley, Professor David Conway and Professor David Baker presented some recent highlights of the School’s work on malaria, including research that has identified new drug targets, work on molecular epidemiology of parasites within human populations, and transmission and diagnosis of malaria at low levels of infection.
Professor Brendan Wren and Assistant Professor Jon Cuccui showed how their group’s innovative work on glycoengineering offers the possibility of a new generation of inexpensive vaccines, which could reduce infections in humans and animals and reduce the prevalence of antibiotics in the food chain.
Professor Joy Lawn and Dr Tanya Marchant presented the School’s work on neonatal health and stillbirths, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded IDEAS project which aims to improve maternal and child health in Africa and India.
The Foundation has funded a variety of research at the School, including the first study to demonstrate unequivocally the effectiveness of a mass vaccination campaign with a new meningitis serogroup A vaccine, PsA-TT, in sub-Saharan Africa. Current Foundation funded projects include PopART, a project that is testing an innovative combination of strategies to prevent HIV in African countries.
Although Mr Gates has visited various School and partner projects, including malaria vector control trials sites in Tanzania, this is the first time he has had the opportunity to come to the School’s Keppel Street site in London.
Professor Piot said: “We are delighted that Bill Gates has been able to visit us and taken the time to hear about some of our work. His leadership has been transformational for global health. The Foundation is a very important funder and in many ways helps to drive the global health agenda. They are tackling some of the main health challenges in the poorest parts of the world - a mission that we share.”
Read the original article at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine news page