Professor Liz Corbett BA MB BChir FRCP PhD

Professor of Tropical Epidemiology

Background

Liz Corbett is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and a Clinical Epidemiologist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, based full time in Blantyre, Malawi. Her main research interests concern control of TB in HIV prevalent populations from the public health perspective, with a focus on the epidemiology at primary care and community level, and intervention trials. She is a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for the TB Programme of the World Health Organization. Her research has highlighted the public health importance of undiagnosed infectious TB and community-level interventions providing access to TB and HIV diagnosis.  She has ongoing research in self-testing for HIV, management of smear-negative TB suspects, TB diagnostic evaluation, and in the epidemiology of adolescent long-term survivors of mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection.

Affiliation

Centres

Teaching

Liz contributes to the DBL MSc in Infectious Diseases, but does not teach face-to-face in London.

Research

My main research interest is in improving TB control in high HIV populations, with a special focus on exploring novel public health strategies with potential to increase access to TB diagnosis and treatment, with the focus on community-level TB and HIV diagnostic access interventions.  

Following promising results from a cluster-randomised trial of intensified TB case-finding in Harare, Zimbabwe, I evaluated long-term trends in TB case-notificiation rates following the introduction of intensified TB case-finding in Blantyre, Malawi.  This included a nested cluster-randomised trial of intensified TB prevention provided through HIV self-testing using trained resident community volunteers to distribute, promote and support HIV self-testing, with facilitated access to HIV care including isoniazid preventive therapy.  The HIV self-testing strategy proved highly successful, with high uptake, accuracy and safety and has been taken forward for scale up in a large implementation project funded by UNITAID, working in partnership with Population Services International and researchers in Malawi (MLW), Zambia (ZAMBART), and Zimbabwe (CeSHHAR).  

My collaborative work includes mathematical modelling at London School, and health economics and social science with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and University of Warwick. Within London School, I have a long-established relationship with Tropical Epidemiology Group, and am a co-investigator on a Global Health Trials diagnostic RCT investigating the impact of urine-based diagnostics for TB on short term survival in medical inpatients with HIV (STAMP trial: PI Steve Lawn)

An additional research interest with Rashida Ferrand concerns the clinical epidemiology of older children and adolescents who are long-term survivors of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Southern Africa. We were the first group to demonstrate the high prevalence of HIV in healthy as well as acutely unwell adolescents in Southern Africa, most of which can be  attributed to perinatal HIV transmission.  We have an ongoing individually randomised clinical trial (Harare and Blantyre) funded by the Norwegian Govement to investigate the potential benefits of 12 months of azithromycin for treatment of HIV-related chronic lung disease, a very common complication of HIV in this patient group.  

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Clinical trials
  • Complex interventions
  • Diagnostics
  • Disease control
  • Economic evaluation
  • Global Health
  • Impact evaluation
  • Modelling
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Randomised controlled trials

Disciplines

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine
  • Operational research

Disease and Health Conditions

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Infectious disease
  • Tuberculosis

Regions

  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Countries

  • Malawi
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Other interests

  • Adolescent HIV
  • Case finding
  • Cluster Randomised Trials
  • Community Health Volunteers
  • Community Health Workers
  • Diagnostics,
  • HIV
  • HIV Self Testing
  • Wellcome Trust
  • clinical epidemiology
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