AMR Centre awards annual publication prize

Each year, the AMR Centre awards prestigious prizes for antimicrobial-related research publications to LSHTM staff and PhD students.  
Left to right: Bern-Thomas Nyang'wa, Collins Timire and Khalid Beshir.

This year we are delighted to award Bern-Thomas Nyang'wa and Collins Timire with student prizes, and Khalid Beshir with the staff prize – huge congratulations to all three awardees! Find out more about their research below and celebrate their achievements at our upcoming AMR Seminar on Tuesday 9 May 2023.  

Bern-Thomas Nyang’wa – Student Prize Winner 

Bern-Thomas Nyang'wa, MD, MPH, is a British-Malawian Medical Director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Chief Investigator of TB-PRACTECAL, a phase II-III MDR-TB clinical trial pivotal in change of WHO 2022 guidelines for treatment of rifampicin resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB). Bern's clinical, programmatic and research work in the past decade has focused on drug resistant TB treatment. His current research work includes population pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-TB drugs, exploring use of volumetric absorptive microsampling techniques for measuring anti-TB drug levels and using small hair samples to quantify cumulative anti-TB drug exposure.  

He won the Student Prize for a publication entitled: "A 24-Week, All-Oral Regimen for Rifampin-Resistant Tuberculosis", published in The New England Journal of Medicine, which contributed to global policy change for the standard of care for RR-TB.   

Upon winning the prize, Bern said: “I'm honoured to receive the prize. The TB-PRACTECAL clinical trial publication shows how much progress can be made with the right investment and strategic collaboration in research in Tuberculosis. Thank you to colleagues at LSHTM, MSF and around the world to make this happen. Now a focus on getting the BPaLM regimen accessible to all who need it.” (Supervisor: Prof Dave Moore). 

Collins Timire - Student Prize Winner 

Collins Timire is a Zimbabwean Public Health Specialist/Researcher and final year PhD Fogarty Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, focusing on impact of drug resistant TB (DR-TB) on livelihoods of people and their households in Zimbabwe. He also works as a Senior Operational Research Fellow with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, being seconded to the National TB Control Programme Zimbabwe where he provides research technical expertise.  

Collins was awarded the Student Prize for his paper entitled: “Coverage and effectiveness of conditional cash transfer for people with drug resistant tuberculosis in Zimbabwe: A mixed methods study” published in PLOS Global Public Health. The recommendations from this paper were incorporated in the TB Strategic Plan for Zimbabwe (2021-2025) and the National TB Programme plans, to streamline conditional cash transfer (CCT) procedures to help avert both community transmission of DR-TB and emergence of extremely drug resistant TB strains (XDR-TB). 

Upon winning the award, Collins said: “I am super excited to receive the prestigious 2023 AMR Centre publication student prize! Our publication highlights the importance of cash transfers in improving treatment completion among people with TB. Thanks goes to my supervisory team and to my co-authors who made this possible.” (Supervisors: Prof Katharina Kranzer, Prof Virginia Bond, Prof Rein Houben, Dr Debora Pedrazzoli).  

Khalid Beshir – Staff Prize Winner 

Dr Khalid Beshir is an Assistant Professor of genomic epidemiology, specialising in malaria drug resistance and diagnostics. Dr Beshir’s current research focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of antimalarial and diagnostic resistance to inform public health policy. Dr Beshir leads research on the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum variants and developed a rapid molecular tool which is supporting surveillance efforts globally. 

Dr Beshir was awarded the Staff Prize for his paper entitled: “Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum haplotypes associated with resistance to sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine and amodiaquine before and after upscaling of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in seven African countries: a genomic surveillance study”, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, showing that sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine and amodiaquine can be used as seasonal chemoprevention without high risk of emergence of resistance genetic markers. 

Upon receiving the prize, he said: “I am truly honored and humbled to win the prize on behalf of our collaborative team. The award is a testament to the power of collaboration, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented colleagues. We were able to achieve something that none of us could have done alone. I am proud of the work we have done and I am looking forward to what the future holds as we continue to work together and push boundaries to fight against malaria.” 

To celebrate this year’s winners and find out more about their research, come along to our AMR Seminar on Tuesday 9 May 2023.  

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