Dr Amanda Fortes Francisco

Assistant Professor

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street - room 329a
United Kingdom

+44 207 612 7864

I obtained a BSc in Nutrition and an MSc and PhD in Biological Sciences, both from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil. In 2012 I was awarded a scholarship from The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development to work on Trypanosoma cruzi heart pathology in John's lab where I undertook this post-doctoral for 2 years. In 2014 I started at the school funded by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). DNDi is a non-profit research and development organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases. My main projects currently are related to drug discovery and T. cruzi/T. brucei pathogenesis using in vivo bioluminescent imaging systems.


Department of Infection Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


Teaching on 3160 module: Molecular and Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases (3260) from February 2022.

Tutor on Distance Learning MSc course: IDM203 Parasitology module Infectious Diseases from January 2019-2022.

Training and supervision: I have supervised and trained students and staff (see below) in animal research techniques (in vivo imaging, infections, several procedural techniques, animal handling and interpretation of clinical outcomes in rodents) and histological techniques (processing, embedding, cutting and staining of rodents tissue samples).

Name: Monica Caroline Campos.

Professional development: training in animal research.

Start and end date: 2015-2016.

Role: staff development.

Level: 8.

Name: Gurdip Mann.

Professional development: training in animal research and histological techniques.

Start and end date: 2016-2019.

Role: PhD training (MRC).

Level: 7.

Name: Harry Langston.

Project: Masters.

Title: Development and application of histological approaches to study pathology in the digestive tract of mice infected with T. cruzi.

Start and end date: 2016-2017.

Role: co-supervision.

Level: 7.

Name: Alex Ward.

Professional development: training animal research and histological techniques.

Start and end date: 2017-2019.

Role: PhD training (MRC).

Level: 7.

Name: Ella Chisholm.

Project: Masters.

Title: Molecular and histological evaluation of myocardial fibrosis biomarkers in experimental Chagas disease.

Start and end date: 2017-2018.

Role: co-supervision.

Level: 7.

Name: Shiromani Jayawardhana.

Project: PhD.

Title: Recrudescence and profiling of concurrent infections of T. cruzi strains.

Start and end date: 2018-2022.

Role: co-supervision and staff development.

Level: 8.

Name: Ciaran Doidge.

Project: Masters.

Title: Molecular and histopathological analysis of T. cruzi infection in Mesocricetus auratus (Golden hamster) as an experimental model of Chagas disease.

Start and end date: 2018-2019.

Role: co-supervision.

Level: 7.

Name: Mhairi Vaughan.

Project: Masters.

Title: Molecular and histological analysis of the cardiac nervous system in experimental Chagas disease.

Start and end date: 2019-2020.

Role: co-supervision.

Level: 7.

Name: Sarah Razzaq.

Project: Masters.

Title: Effect of statins during the course of experimental T. cruzi infection.

Funding: tuition + bench fees.

Start and end date: 2019-2022.

Role: supervisor.

Level: 7.


The major pathology of Chagas disease is heart damage including cardiomyopathy, cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. The use of a new non-invasive tecnology as the electrocardiogram (ECG) will complement our current experiments by providing clinical data on heart function, which can be mapped onto the bioluminescent data we have on the infection kinetics. It can also be used to look at changes in heart parameters of infected mice undergoing treatment with novel drug candidates.

Exploit in vivo imaging technology to study Chagas' disease pathogenesis and assess drug effectiveness in collaboration with DNDi, GSK, Novartis and others.

Research Area
Disease control
Drug discovery and development
Public health
Disease and Health Conditions
Chagas Disease
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Infectious diseases
Cardiovascular diseases

Selected Publications

Cardiac Abnormalities in a Predictive Mouse Model of Chagas Disease.
FRANCISCO, AF; Sousa, GR; Vaughan, M; Langston, H; Khan, A; Jayawardhana, S; TAYLOR, MC; Lewis, MD; KELLY, JM;
Benznidazole treatment leads to DNA damage in Trypanosoma cruzi and the persistence of rare widely dispersed non-replicative amastigotes in mice.
Jayawardhana, S; Ward, AI; FRANCISCO, AF; Lewis, MD; TAYLOR, MC; KELLY, JM; Olmo, F;
PLoS Pathogens
Cardiac Abnormalities in a Predictive Mouse Model of Chagas Disease
FRANCISCO, AF; Sousa, G; Vaughan, M; Langston, H; Khan, A; Jayawardhana, S; TAYLOR, M; Lewis, M; Kelly, J;
Preclinical data do not support the use of amiodarone or dronedarone as antiparasitic drugs for Chagas disease at the approved human dosing regimen
FRANCISCO, AF; Chen, G; Wang, W; Sykes, ML; Escudié, F; Scandale, I; Olmo, F; Shackleford, DM; Zulfiqar, B; Kratz, JM; Pham, T; Saunders, J; Hu, M; Avery, VM; Charman, SA; KELLY, JM; Chatelain, E;
Frontiers in tropical diseases
Bis-6-amidino-benzothiazole Derivative that Cures Experimental Stage 1 African Trypanosomiasis with a Single Dose.
Racané, L; Ptiček, L; Kostrun, S; Raić-Malić, S; TAYLOR, MC; DELVES, M; ALSFORD, S; Olmo, F; FRANCISCO, AF; KELLY, JM;
Journal of medicinal chemistry
Cyanotriazoles are selective topoisomerase II poisons that rapidly cure trypanosome infections.
Rao, SP S; Gould, MK; Noeske, J; Saldivia, M; Jumani, RS; Ng, PS; René, O; Chen, Y-L; Kaiser, M; Ritchie, R; FRANCISCO, AF; Johnson, N; Patra, D; Cheung, H; Deniston, C; Schenk, AD; Cortopassi, WA; Schmidt, RS; Wiedemar, N; Thomas, B; Palkar, R; Ghafar, NA; Manoharan, V; Luu, C; Gable, JE; ... Diagana, TT.
Collaborative Virtual Screening Identifies a 2-Aryl-4-aminoquinazoline Series with Efficacy in an In Vivo Model of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection.
Tawaraishi, T; Ochida, A; Akao, Y; Itono, S; Kamaura, M; Akther, T; Shimada, M; Canan, S; Chowdhury, S; Cao, Y; Condroski, K; Engkvist, O; FRANCISCO, A; Ghosh, S; Kaki, R; KELLY, JM; Kimura, C; Kogej, T; Nagaoka, K; Naito, A; Pairaudeau, G; Radu, C; Roberts, I; Shum, D; Watanabe, N-A; ... Perry, B.
Journal of medicinal chemistry
Comparing in vivo bioluminescence imaging and the Multi-Cruzi immunoassay platform to develop improved Chagas disease diagnostic procedures and biomarkers for monitoring parasitological cure
FRANCISCO, AF; Saade, U; Jayawardhana, S; Pottel, H; Scandale, I; Chatelain, E; Liehl, P; KELLY, JM; Zrein, M;
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Nitroimidazopyrazinones with Oral Activity against Tuberculosis and Chagas Disease in Mouse Models of Infection.
Ang, CW; Lee, BM; Jackson, CJ; Wang, Y; Franzblau, SG; FRANCISCO, AF; KELLY, JM; Bernhardt, PV; Tan, L; West, NP; Sykes, ML; Hinton, AO; Bolisetti, R; Avery, VM; Cooper, MA; Blaskovich, MA T;
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Invariant surface glycoprotein 65 of Trypanosoma brucei is a complement C3 receptor.
Macleod, OJ S; Cook, AD; Webb, H; Crow, M; Burns, R; Redpath, M; Seisenberger, S; Trevor, CE; Peacock, L; Schwede, A; Kimblin, N; FRANCISCO, AF; Pepperl, J; Rust, S; Voorheis, P; Gibson, W; TAYLOR, MC; Higgins, MK; Carrington, M;
Nature Communications
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