Funding boost for sleeping sickness and schistosomiasis research

Funding boost for sleeping sickness and schistosomiasis research

Issued: Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:24:00 GMT

Annette MacLeod in FieldThe award to Dr Annette MacLeod, a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow, and colleagues from across 8 African countries is a renewal and extension of their highly successful TrypanoGEN project aimed at understanding human susceptibility to trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). In the renewal, the team will extend their studies to incorporate an analysis of human susceptibility to schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm that currently affects over 200 million people worldwide.

This project is part of a larger initiative, the H3 Africa Consortium. This is supported by both the Wellcome Trust and US NIH and aims to improve the health of Africans through the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases. The H3Africa initiative is helping to develop expertise among African scientists, foster increased collaboration, and enhance the infrastructure for genomics research in Africa. A further aim of this initiative is to support the training and development of the next generation of African researchers.

Dr MacLeod, said ‘My African colleagues and I are delighted to have secured funding from the Wellcome Trust for our project, TrypanoGEN+, which aims to understand the genetic basis of human susceptibility to two important diseases. Despite the impact of sleeping sickness and schistosomiasis, research has lagged behind that of diseases of developed countries. Through TrypanoGEN+ we aim to redress this imbalance and conduct further high-quality research.’