Professor Michael Miles
BSc MSc PhD DSc FRCPath
Professor of Medical Protozoology
1971-1981 Wellcome-Harvard-London Scheme, seconded to Brazil. 1981-1989 Wellcome Trust Senior Lecturer. 1984-2002, Head of three successive Research Units at LSHTM. Professor of Medical Protozoology at LSHTM 1993 to present.
Principal research interests have been: genetic diversity and molecular genetics of protozoan parasites, particularly Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania species; the epidemiology and control of South American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis; the molecular taxonomy of triatomine bugs (Hemiptera:Reduviidae); the ecology of South American mammals and developmental diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases, most recently including soil tranmitted helminths (STAs).
Coordination of international research collaborations: co-applicant and LSHTM coordinator for Euroleish-Net (which supported 15 early stage researchers/PhD students, 3 in LSHTM); partner in new EDCTP network (collaboration with Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda); PI and Coordinator of previous EC networks FP5, FP6 LeishEpiNetSA (12 partners) and FP7 ChagasEpiNet (15 partners); partner in FP7 NIDIAG. Participant in Citizen Science Initiative for Venezuela, led by Martin Llewellyn (Glasgow). Research collaborations in several South American countries, including Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and in the Sudan, India and Europe.
Chalmers Medal, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine; Grã-Cruz decoration, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil.
Founder, MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases (CID), Course/Programme Director for 20 years, now deputising for current Programme Director, Matthew Yeo.
Founder and Course Director of previous MSc course in Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases.
Module Organiser:module 3125 Introduction to Infectious Disease Agents and their Control (IDAC), 11 week term 1 core teaching for MSc CID. Tutor, MSc project supervisor, MSc CID Exam Board and Course Committee, internal and external teaching on Medical Parasitology, Molecular Epidemiology, Vector Control, Diagnostics, principally in the context of South American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and leishhmaniasis.
PhD supervisor, of >35 successful students, currently 5 students.
Research is primarily on molecular epidemiology and taxonomy of Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi, improvement of control strategies, including both fundamental experimental and field research, and on diagnostics development.
Examples of achievements in research (with collaborators/co-authors)
- Described the biochemical and genetic heterogeneity of Trypanosoma cruzi (Nature).
- Pioneered the concept of separate, overlapping and enzootic transmission cycles as applied to the epidemiology of Chagas disease.
- Described the ecotopes of several Amazonian triatomine species and explained the absence of endemic (domestic) Chagas disease in the Amazon Basin.
- Discovered the new triatomine species Rhodnius paraensis in Amazon forest.
- Showed that Rhodnius prolixus in Venezuela reinvades houses (with Sinead Fitzpatrick).
- Demonstrated that Trypanosoma rangeli is widely distributed in Brazil, and described its hosts and vectors.
- Linked genetic lineages of T. cruzi to clinical diversity (Lancet, and Clin. Inf. Dis.).
- Contributed to the Southern Cone Initiative to control Chagas disease.
- First experimental proof of genetic exchange in T. cruzi (Nature).
- Demonstrated synonomy of Leishmania chagasi and Leishmania infantum.
- Evidence of recombination in Leishmania (Viannia) populations.
- Drew attention to the threat of visceral leishmaniasis/HIV co-infection (Nature).
- Visualisation of hybrid transgenic Leishmania in sand flies.
- Extensive molecular epidemiological studies of T. cruzi and Leishmania.
- RDT for T. cruzi clinical association studies and reservoir discovery (Clin. Inf. Dis.).
- RDT for discrimination of cure versus relapse of visceral leishmaniasis (Clin. Inf. Dis.)
- Analysis of Leishmania hybrids derived from two sand fly species (unpublished).
- Devised spool-and-line mammal tracking, for ecological studies of mammals.