Dr Matthew Yeo
BSc MSc PhD
Programme Director for MSc Control of Infectious Diseases (CID)
Matthew returned to academia after a first career in the phamaceutical sector, and completed his PhD at the LSHTM on the genetic diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi the causative agent of Chagas disease in 2003. Current research involves the development of transgenic technologies, for example CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive, applied to insect vectors and associated parasites funded by the Wellcome Trust. Also the mechanisms of genetic exchange, phyloepidemiology, diagnostics and control of vectors of both Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi.
Matthew is Programme Director for the Control of Infectious Disease Course. Previous Chair of the Board of Examiners (MSc Control of Infectious Diseases) and a member of the CID course committee, deputy module organiser for CID and MBID course modules. He acts as a course tutor, and undertakes and organises numerous lectures and practicals for various MSc courses and associated modules. Subjects span vector biology, diagnostics, molecular biology, parasitology, phyloepedemiology and phylogenetics. Matthew supervises PhD students and numerous visiting research fellows, interns and MSc students during their summer projects. Periodicaly involved in various outreach activities in the media, other institutes and schools (for example BBC, Natural History museum, Sci Dev.net magazine).
Matthews research interests are broad and span transgenic technologies applied to insects and associated parasites, genetic recombination, genetic diversity, population genetics, genomics, diagnostics, transmission cycles, epidemiology, ecology, vector incrimination, drug screening, and genetic diversity of Trypanasoma cruzi and also Leishmania.
Currently Matthews primary research drive is to develop the molecular tools to interrupt transmission of vector borne diseases by transgenic modification of insect vectors using new molecular tools (CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive).
Matthews active research lines also encompass experimental models for visceral leishmania, hybrid cell lines, diagnostics and comparative genomics. He has coordinated field research in various Latin America countries and has extensive collaborations with overseas partners. With collaborators he was the first to produce transgenic dual fluorescent hybrids of Leishmania donovani and has developed and formalised a typing scheme (SNP-MLST) for T. cruzi. With Michael Miles and others Matthew revealed the mechanism of genetic exchange in T. cruzi in a landmark Nature paper. Other work includes the resolution of ecological, vector and host associations of T. cruzi, development of an efficient drug screening assay, improved diagnostics and the application of next generation sequencing technologies to answer fundamental phyloepidemiological questions.