Dr Eliana Lacerda
MD MSc PhD
I have a medical background with specialty training in Public Health and Occupational health in Brazil, and have worked in distinct health settings before returning to academia as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Pernambuco (Recife-Brazil).
After finishing my PhD in Environmental Health at the LSHTM, I joined a small team of investigators carrying out studies on ME/CFS in the UK, which lately formed the CureME team. Our group have established the UK ME/CFS Biobank to enhance biomedical research in the field, and I currently oversee the Biobank’s procedures from recruitment of consenting participants to release of samples to lab-based research teams. I am also involved in the clinical and analysis of studies being performed in collaboration with colleagues from the Immunology and Infection and the Pathogen Molecular Biology Departments.
I am the co-Chair of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE), and a team member of the Working Groups on Epidemiology and Clinical Research. I am also a member of the working groups to develop ME/CFS common data elements (CDEs), organised by a collaboration between the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NINDS/CDC) to further progress ME/CFS research.
- MSc Module Organiser: “Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries”, since 2015
- MSc Module tutor: “Fundamentals of Epidemiology”, 2007-2014
- Supervision of MSc students and international medical students on internships at the LSHTM
- Teaching medical undergraduate students and post-graduates in Brazil, since 1997.
My initial research activities were focused on occupational and environmental health. As an MSc student I carried out a study on repetitive strain injuries (RSI) in Brazilian bank workers, before developing a study with a community of shellfish harvester women in Brazil Northeast, as part of my PhD at the LSHTM.
My research on ME/CFS started with an epidemiological study, based in the UK. Subsequently, our team developed participatory studies to develop infra-structure for enabling ME/CFS biomedical research. These studies lead to the development of protocols for the establishment of a post-mortem ME/CFS Tissue Bank, and a Biobank.
Our current research, which has also been developed within a participatory framework, involves clinically phenotyping a cohort of people with ME/CFS, or with multiple sclerosis, and healthy individuals. We are also looking at potential correlations between clinical, immunological, and gene-expression phenotypes, considering the virological findings in this cohort.