Dr Ernest Diez Benavente
Bioinformatics and Biostatistics
I am a bioinformatician and biostatistician with an interest on the use of genomics and machine learning in health research. I finished my degree on Agriculture Engineering (Specialty: Biotechnology) at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia in Spain in 2014, at the same time I completed a double degree which awarded me an MSc in Bioinformatics from Cranfield University here in the UK working on designing a web tool to explore M. tuberculosis genomic diversity. I then moved to LSHTM as a Research Assistant and obtained a staff PhD in 2018 with the title "Using whole genome sequence data to study genomic diversity and develop molecular barcodes to profile Plasmodium malaria parasites". Currently I am a Research Fellow in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics here at LSHTM.
Currently I teach and help organise the short course on Infectious Disease 'Omics which runs yearly both in London and in different countries worlwide (i.e. Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, The Gambia). I also contribute to MSc modules, including the Pathogen Genomics, Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and 'Omics in Epidemiology modules.
My research focuses on malaria genomics, I study how malaria parasite's genetic diversity can be used to inform the dynamics of parasite transmission through whole genome sequencing and creating SNP barcodes, other aspects of this research looks at providing insight into the appearance of drug resistance in the different Plasmodium species. Recently I have explored the use of machine learning applied to electrocardiogram (ECG) data to study early cardiac ageing and to diagnose heart conditions such as left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Other research interest also cover the study of the microbiome and its relationthip with the host response to different health conditions.