Professor David Mabey
DM FRCP FMedSci CBE
of Communicable Diseases
David Mabey is a physician specialising in Infectious and Tropical Diseases. After training in the UK, he went to work at the Medical Research Council unit in The Gambia, West Africa in 1978, and was in charge of clinical services there from 1982-86. He joined the School as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Clinical Sciences in 1986, and was made Professor of Communicable Diseases in 1994. He was an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London from 1987-2019. He was head of the Clinical Research Unit in the School from 1995-2002 and from 2017-2020. He was Director of the Wellcome Trust Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine/Global Health Research http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/wbc/ from 1995 to 2018. His research interests are in Neglected Tropical Diseases, in particular trachoma, which he has been working on since 1984 and yaws, in sexually transmitted infections and in causes of fever. He has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the WHO Department of Reproductive Healh and Research, and was Director of the WHO Collaborating centre for the Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections at the School from 2014-2020. He currently chairs the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the WHO Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases. He is a member of the WHO Global Alliance for the elimination of trachoma, and has sat on the Trachoma Expert Committee of the International Trachoma Initiative. He was awarded the CBE in 2014 for services to health development in Africa and Asia, and the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health in 2019 for his work on trachoma.
David Mabey ran the DTM&H course at the School from 1988 to 1996. He set up the MSc course in Sexually Transmitted Diseases with colleagues at UCL, and started a study module on the Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in 1996. He teaches on the London and African DTM&H courses and the MScs in Control of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine and International Health. Since 2010 he has worked with Philip Gothard and colleagues at Makerere University, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington in Seattle to establish the School's East African DTM&H course.
David Mabey became interested in trachoma, caused by ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis, and in genital C. trachomatis infection, while working in the Gambia. Since the early 1980s he has continued to do research on both trachoma and sexually transmitted infections, with many collaborators both within and outside the School. Most of his field work has been done in The Gambia and Tanzania, and he also runs a laboratory at the School where he has worked on the pathogenesis of and immune response to C. trachomatis infection. He is particularly interested in the link between HIV infection and other STIs, and worked with Richard Hayes on the Mwanza intervention trial, which showed that it was possible to reduce the transmission of HIV by improved case management of other STIs at the primary health care level. With Robin Bailey, Martin Holland and Matthew Burton, he has established one of the largest research groups in the world working on the pathogenesis, control and elimination of blinding trachoma. In recent years he has become particularly interested in the development and evaluation of new, point-of-care diagnostics for infectious diseases, and worked with Rosanna Peeling to establish the International Diagnostics Centre at the School in 2012. Since 2012 he has been doing research on yaws in Papua New Guinea, Ghana and and the Solomon Islands, in support of the new WHO eradication programme. He leads the FIEBRE study on causes of fever in 5 countries in Africa and Asia, funded by the Department for International Development.