Researcher Spotlight: Teteh Champion

This week, Elle Lindsay has put Teteh Champion under the spotlight. Teteh is a PhD student studying parasitology in relation to schistosomiasis transmission. 

Can you tell us a little about your background? pic of Teteh Champion for spotlight article

I moved up to Glasgow to pursue this PhD after completing a MSc in Medical Parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), based in Camden. The LSHTM is a world leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health.

What can you tell us about your PhD project?

My PhD project is examining schistosomiasis, specifically centred on local engineering interventions and characterising their potential impact on transmission of the disease. Schistosomiasis is classified as the world’s 2nd most important human parasitic disease after malaria.

What is the focus of your research?

I’m currently developing a molecular assay (qPCR) to detect and quantify Schistosoma mansoni DNA from soil samples. S. mansoni is the parasite responsible for intestinal schistosomiasis. The next stage will (hopefully) be to accurately detect any environmental contamination of the schistosome within soil and water samples collected from an S. mansoni endemic community. This would give us an insight into where the schistosome is in the environment, therefore indicating which engineering interventions would be appropriate to tackle this contamination.

Why did you decide to do your PhD at the University of Glasgow?

I’ve been intrigued by parasitic helminths since my undergraduate degree and the interdicipliary nature of this project, along with the supervisory team, inspired me to apply for this specific PhD.

What has been the most positive aspect so far?

The partnership between our lab group here at Glasgow University and the Vector Control Division of Uganda’s Ministry of Health gives my project a fantastic scope.

What has been the most challenging aspect so far?

Narrowing down my research question and developing my academic voice.

Tell us about your plans for the future

Finish this PhD! I would like to move into policy and research upon completion.

First published: 12 June 2018