Professor Susana Campino
of Genomics and Infectious Diseases
I completed my PhD at the University of Umea, Sweden on the “Genetic analysis of murine malaria”. In 2004, I was awarded a Marie Curie Post Doc fellowship to work on “Genetic determinants of human severe malaria” at the University of Oxford. In 2007, I moved to The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to investigate the worldwide genetic diversity of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum. I had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in several endemic regions (e.g. Thailand, Cambodia, Burkina Faso). This post also gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on whole genome sequencing analysis and population genetics.
I moved to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2015 to work on evolution of malaria parasite and to develop genetic barcodes for malaria surveillance. I am also involved in projects related to the genetic diversity of Mycobacteria tuberculosis and Zika virus.
I am the co-coordinator of the Pathogen genomics course and I am also involved in various aspects of teaching Genetic epidemiology and Genomics and virology in several Mcs modules.
The main focus of my research is to use genomics and genetic approaches to understand more of the biology of infectious diseases, particularly malaria, Zika and tuberculosis.
We use large whole genome sequencing data sets to shed light on evolution and population genetics, which can be use to forecast how infectious microorganism will change in response to interventions and to drive the development of novel diagnostics and surveillance tools. We are particularly interesting in malaria surveillance and we develop genetic barcodes that include a small number of polymorphisms, to identify the species, geographic origin and drug resistant profile of parasites. This barcode could be directly use in field-settings to support malaria surveillance as well as be used to quantify the extent of co-infections in public sequence data. This barcode can also be the basis for a diagnostic tool. We are presently exploring the use of the isothermal RPA enzyme, previously use to detect Ebola and recently Zika virus in mobile labs, to develop a point-of-care and field-use diagnostic tool capable of distinguish all 6 human malaria species.
We are also involved in a project that aims do investigate current infectious disease outbreaks of Zika and malaria in Cape Verde, an island that is in a malaria pre-elimination stage. We are screening mosquitos and also humans to discover the origin of the outbreaks, their spread and the efficacy of control measurements.