Dr Sam Wassmer
of Malaria Pathogenesis
Sam Wassmer (PhD) is a medical parasitologist, whose research activities focus on the effects of malaria infection on the brain. He leads an international team of multi-disciplinary researchers in India, Switzerland, the US, Gabon and the UK to develop new diagnostic tools and therapeutic approaches for malaria patients. He is the Co-Director of the Malaria Centre at LSHTM, which aims to connect and support over 300 malaria researchers internally and externally through seminars, social events and scientific retreats.
He is known for his innovative and collaborative work in malaria-endemic settings that integrates advanced neuroimaging, molecular diagnostics and artificial intelligence aimed at a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to cerebral malaria. His projects have been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the MRC and the NIH and have led him to work and live in Malawi, the US, and the UK. Sam is closely involved in capacity building through long-standing partnerships with research institutes across Africa and Southeast Asia.
Sam has successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching at the LSHTM and has become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He has a wide range of teaching activities, which include:
- Module Organiser for Immunology of Clinical Disease (IDM3167),
- Deputy Module Organiser for the Distance Learning Malaria Module (IDM503),
- inflammation, immunopathology of infectious diseases & malaria pathogenesis (IDM3120),
- malaria blood stages & immunology (IDM3177),
- innate immunity, inflammation and immunopathogenesis (IDM3134),
- malaria pathophysiology (Distance Learning IDM103, IDM213, IDM503),
- MSc exam marking (both intensive and distance learning).
He is the Chair of the Exam Board for the Immunology of Infectious Diseases MSc, participates in the annual field trip for the Medical Parasitology MSc, tutors students from both courses, and is involved in the Mentorship Scheme at LSHTM.
Sam Wassmer's team investigates factors that lead to the development of cerebral malaria in patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum. This includes specific virulence factors of the parasite, as well as host-related determinants across cohorts from different age groups and geographic origins. Sam is also interested in the development of cost-effective and easily deployable diagnostic tools, specifically designed for malaria-endemic settings.