Dr Michael Marks
MRCP DTM&H PhD
I am an Associate Professor at LSHTM and an Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, University College London Hospital. My Phd, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, focused on understanding the impact of azithromycin mass administration on treponemal infections as part of a strategy to eliminate yaws in the Solomon Islands including work on disease mapping and the evaluation of diagnostic tests. I was a lead investigator on a WHO sponsored trial of treatment of yaws in Ghana and Papua New Guinea and collaborate with Oriol Mitjà on studies to optimise community treatment strategies for yaws in PNG. I am the principal investigator on a new EDCTP evaluation of a LAMP assay for yaws (2020-2022) in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon.
Following my PhD my research interests have expanded to include all of the human treponematoses including both Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (the causative agent of syphilis) whilst continuing my interest in T.pallidum subsp. pertenue (the causative agent of yaws). I collaborate with Professor Nick Thomson on the application of next-generation sequencing tools to our understanding in these important diseases and with Joe Tucker on innovative strategies, such as self-testing, to improve syphilis testing rates amongst high risk groups
I am involved in a number of studies on the epidemiology and control of scabies, which is endemic in the Pacific region and has recently been adopted as an NTD by the World Health Organization. I collaborate with Andrew Steer, in Melbourne, and John Kaldor, in Sydney, on a number of studies to better understand the use of mass treatment strategies to control scabies in endemic communities. My work on scabies has led on to a broader research interest in Group A Streptococcal (GAS) disease which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. I collaborate with Thushan de Silva at the University of Sheffield and MRC Unit the Gambia on the epidemiology and control of GAS.
As well as work on these specific NTDs I am interested in strategies for the integrated control of neglected tropical diseases. I am a lead investigator on several studies exploring the possibility of combining MDA programmes for multiple NTDs into a single intervention in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. Along with Rachel Pullan, Steve Walker and others I am a lead investigator on the NIHR funded SHARP project (2019-2023) on integrated control strategies for NTDs of the skin including buruli ulcer, yaws, cutaneous leishmaniasis and leprosy in Ghana and Ethiopia.
I am a member of the World Health Organization Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group and am the current Vice-Chair of the International Alliance for the Control of Scabies.
Alongside my research work at LSHTM, I worked with Chrissy Roberts to establish and run the ODK@LSHTM service which supports the uptake of the ODK electronic data collection platform in research projects run by LSHTM worldwide. Our Emergency Data Kit project supported the role out of Ebola Vaccination in the DRC. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic I have been lucky to work with Roz Eggo on projects to understand transmission of COVID-19 in high risk populations in the UK and in Ghana. I am also a member of the steering committee of PHOSP, a large UK cohort study exploring long-term outcomes of COVID-19.
Details of grants and work I have been involved in are also available on ORC-ID
I am the co-module director of the Neglected Tropical Diseases MSc module. I am on the course committee and teach on both the London Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) and the East African DTM&H (LSHTM). I also sit on the exam board of the Tropical Medicine and International Health MSc.
I currently supervise PhD students working on:
- The impact of MDA for the control of malaria on other diseases
- The evaluation of new diagnostics for yaws
- Haemophilus ducreyi as a cause of cutaenous ulcers in Cameroon
- Transmission of Group A Streptococcus in the Gambia
- Yaws: Epidemiology, community treatment strategies, diagnostics and modelling
- Scabies & Group A Streptococcus: Epidemiology, community treatment strategies
- NTDs: Integrated Case Finding & Mass Drug Administration Strategies
- Treponema pallidum & Syphilis: Sequencing, host-pathogen interactions, Innovative approaches to testing
- COVID-19: Transmission & epidemiology