Dr Anna Last
BMedSc MBChB MRCP DTMH PhD
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I am an Infectious Diseases physician. I started working on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in 2010. I completed a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellowship at LSHTM on the molecular epidemiology of trachoma and ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection on the -: CLEANED :- Bijagós -: CLEANED :- Archipelago of Guinea Bissau between 2011-2014. I continued my research in trachoma in Guinea Bissau through an NIHR Clinical Lectureship at LSHTM between 2015-2017. Since 2017 I has been working on a network of integrated studies on NTDs (including soil-transmitted helminths, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, yaws and scabies) and malaria in Guinea Bissau and a research programme towards the elimination of trachoma in Ethiopia (Stronger-SAFE). I am a clinical epidemiologist with an interest in the integrated elimination of infectious diseases and am currently working on research projects in East and West Africa.
My primary field study site is the remote -: CLEANED :- Bijagós -: CLEANED :- Archipelago of Guinea Bissau. Over the last seven years, with my field team and colleagues in Guinea Bissau, MRC The Gambia and at LSHTM, I have established infrastructure including an experienced field research team, social science researchers, field laboratory technicians and field entomologists.
I am currently a co-investigator on an MRC Global Challenges Research Foundation award and a Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London.
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Tropical Medicine in International Health MSc (LSHTM)
East African Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSHTM)
Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSHTM)
Undergraduate Medical Students (UCL)
International Health intercalated BMedSc (University of Birmingham)
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Since 2010 my research has focused on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). I have coordinated a series of trachoma research projects based at our field site on the Bijagós Archipelago of Guinea Bissau looking at host-pathogen interactions, pathogen genomics, molecular and spatial epidemiology of ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection and its control and elimination. This research has directly led to the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in this region. My continued interest in trachoma elimination is realised through my involvement with Stronger-SAFE, a Wellcome Trust-funded research programme which aims to develop novel WASH interventions to be used in combination with antibiotic mass drug administration towards the elimination of trachoma in Ethiopia.
Following on from my trachoma research in West Africa, in 2017 we began a network of vector and disease mapping studies on the Bijagós Archipelago (DTNMaPa Bijagós: Mapeamento de Doenças Tropicais Negligenciadas e Paludísmo no Archipelago Bijagós) to characterise the epidemiology of malaria and other co-endemic NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, yaws and scabies) with a view to developing and testing diagnostics and interventions towards the elimination of these diseases as public health problems.
I have worked with colleagues at LSHTM to develop and evaluate novel molecular diagnostics for use in NTD research. The multidisciplinary approach we have made has led to local and international collaborations. In Guinea Bissau I have strong collaborative relationships with the directors of the National Programme for Eye Health (Programa Nacional de Saúde de Visão (PNSV)), the National Program for Malaria Control (Programa Nacional de Luta Contra Paludísmo (PNLCP)) and the National Program for NTDs (Programa Nacional de Doenças Tropicais Neglegenciadas (PNDTNs). I also work closely with programme implementing partners (Sightsavers International in Guinea Bissau and The Fred Hollows Foundation in Ethiopia).
I am currently involved in collaborations with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for pathogen genomic work from our trachoma studies (Ethiopia) and Imperial College London for mathematical modelling work from our malaria studies (Guinea Bissau).
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