Dr Thomas Walker
BSc MSc DPhil
Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Fellow
Tom is interested in novel methods of control for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis and malaria and joined the Department of Disease Control in 2014. Tom was awarded a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Fellowship (2014-2022) in addition to the Wellcome-Beit Prize. His fellowship research aims to use the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia to reduce the transmission of human pathogens including arboviruses and malaria parasites in mosquitoes. Tom previously held Research fellow positions at Monash University and the University of Queensland in Australia in which he played a key role generating and characterising Wolbachia-infected mosquito lines for the World Mosquito program (https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/). Tom obtained a Dphil from the University of Oxford, MSc (Distinction) Biology and Control of Disease Vectors from LSHTM and BSc Biology from Imperial College.
Tom lectures and leads practicals and is a member of the exam board for the MSc Medical Entomology for Disease Control and MSc Medical Parasitology courses. Tom is co-organiser of module 3141 (Vector Sampling, Identification & Incrimination) and supervises MSc student projects and 4 PhD students on:
1. The role of the mosquito Culex tritaeniorhynchus in the transmission of arboviruses in southern Europe
2. Mosquito biting behaviour and malaria transmission: interactions between intrinsic host preferences and local host availability
3. A platform for the transgenic modification of Sandflies and Triatomine bugs towards deriving insect vectors refractory to disease agents mediated by CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive
4. Novel control strategies for Lutzomyia longiplpis sand flies through CRISPR-Cas9 genetic modification of olfaction and Wolbachia transinfection
Tom is also one of the Departmental Research Degrees Co-ordinators for the Department of Disease Control.
Tom's research output can be viewed on google scholar: