Dr Matthew Cairns
BSc MSc PhD
of Epidemiology and Sir Henry Dale Fellow
My research focuses on the epidemiology and control of malaria, with a particular focus on areas of seasonal malaria transmission.
My current work aims to optimise the use of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) and seasonally-targeted vaccination for malaria, funded by a Wellcome Trust / Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship.
I previously held a Population Health Scientist Fellowship from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).
I have been based in the MRC International Statistics and Epidemiology Group (ISEG) since 2010. Prior to joining ISEG I completed an MSc and PhD in Epidemiology at LSHTM, both funded by the UK MRC. My first degree was in Biological Sciences.
I teach mainly through the LSHTM Distance Learning programme, and am a co-organiser for the module Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (EPM301).
I also teach on a number of MSc modules in London (Statistical Methods in Epidemiology, Extended Epidemiology and related short-courses).
I currently co-supervise two PhD students, Kammerle Schneider, who is investigating malaria in adolescents in Zambia, and Georgia Gore-Langton, who is working on the epidemiology of malaria coinfection with curable RTIs/STIs.
My research to date has focused on the prevention of malaria in high risk groups (particularly young children and pregnant women), primarily through drug-based approaches.
An area of particular interest over the past 15 years has been seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), previously called intermittent preventive treatment in children (IPTc). This is an approach to prevent malaria in children in areas where transmission is highly seasonal, recommended by WHO in 2012: http://www.who.int/malaria/areas/preventive_therapies/children/en/index.html, and now deployed at scale in large areas of the Sahel.
I am particularly interested in how this intervention can be optimised, how it can be adapted to areas with different malaria epidemiology (including areas with less seasonal transmission), and how other interventions can be combined with SMC to maximise the impact on the malaria burden.
Ongoing work includes assessment of the new approach of seasonal vaccination against malaria, using the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, with or without SMC, in Burkina Faso and Mali clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03143218 and NCT04319380.