Professor Martin Hibberd
of Emerging Infectious Disease
Martin Hibberd is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, at the London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is also Associate Senior Group Leader for Infectious Disease at the Genome Institute of Singapore. He has visting positions at the National University of Singapore, Depatment of Microbiology and Immunology and the Philippine Genome Centre. He graduated in Applied Biology from Brunel University in 1985 and worked in the (then) Public Health Laboratory Service both at Porton Down, at Centre for Applied Microbiology & Research, (Legionella Reference Laboratory) and at the Central Public Health Laboratory Colindale (Enteric Pathogens); before moving to King’s College, London; where he received his Doctorate, on the immune-genetics of the human T-cell antigen receptor in 1994. Following post doctoral work at Plymouth Post Graduate Medical School, he obtained a lectureship in Paediatric Infectious Disease at Imperial College in 2006. In 2003 he moved to the Genome Institute in Singapore where he developed Human Genetic and Infectious Disease work to become associate director and then joined the LSHTM in 2012. He has a broad scientific background spanning both microbial and human determinants of infectious and inflammatory diseases; with previous achievements including: identification of sources of Legionella disease spread, leading to legislation for water treatment that halted outbreaks in the UK (1988); development work towards an enterotoxigenic E. coli live oral vaccine for the WHO (1990); the development of one of the first quantitative PCR techniques (1992); work with Zenica to identify genetic risk factors for diabetic complications (1996); and Identification of risk factors for meningococcal disease and disease severity identifying new treatment approaches (1999 and 2003). More recently his work has attempted to undertake a more comprehensive analysis of infectious diseases, covering both pathogen and host aspects, understanding how microbial agents cause the observed disease (including pathogen identification and sequence characterization) and why specific individuals are susceptible to the disease (using host genetics on a genomic scale). Approaching infectious disease from these two directions also allows specific host pathogen responses to be investigated (utilizing RNA sequencing). This work aims to identify key host responses to specific pathogens that could be targeted by new therapies.
Control of Infectious Disease
Current topics include Dengue, Zika, Tuberculosis and Mtb, Hepatitis B, Kawasaki disease, Influenza and other emerging infectious diseases; often in collaboration with industry as well as Public Health groups. In particular, my work aims to utilize population diversity (human and microbe) to investigate the roles of microbial complexity (including bacterial and virus community diversity, identified by genomic scale diagnosis) on the intricacies of clinical outcome.