Professor Joanne P. Webster holds the Royal Veterinary College Chair in Parasitic Diseases, is Director of the Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED) and Associate Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research (LCNTDR). Joanne also holds an Hon. Professorship at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine and Senior Research Fellowship at the NHM. She is an Expert Advisor on the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Panel Working Group for NTD elimination strategies and also their Global Working Group on Monitoring of Drug Efficacy. Prof Webster is also on the Management Boards of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) and the London International Development Centre (LIDC).
After gaining a double First class B.Sc. hons, Joanne’s D.Phil at the University of Oxford examined the epidemiology of zoonotic disease. Her doctoral research also developed a novel line of research focusing on the impact of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii on host behaviour and its association with chronic disease. After a year working as a clinical scientist at the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) in London, she returned to Oxford as a postdoctoral fellow, EPA Cephalosporin JRF, Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and finally as a Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF). During this period she expanded the scope of her work to encompass global health and tropical field research and disease control across much of Africa and Asia. Joanne accepted a Readership at Imperial College in 2003 and was promoted to a personal tenured Chair in Parasitic Disease Epidemiology in 2006. The key motivation for this move was the unique opportunity to be co-Director of the then newly formed Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI). In this role she has been responsible from the outset for the design, implementation and evaluation of large-scale sustainable Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) control programmes, with a focus on schistosomiasis, across sub-Saharan Africa. These activities attracted approximately $155 million in funding and provided over 273 million chemotherapeutic treatments for children and at-risk adults (2003-2014). In October 2014 Joanne joined the Royal Veterinary College as their Professor of Parasitic Diseases to expand here focus on One Health Research and disease control.
Joanne’s key areas of research focus on the evolution, epidemiology, behaviour and control of helminth and protozoan parasites of humans and animals. Her research activities have been awarded a number of high profile Prizes and Medals (e.g. Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/Elsevier citation prize 2009; Queen’s Anniversary Prize and medal 2008 for Higher and Further Education; National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in research (NC3Rs) prize 2007; CA Wright medal 2005 for outstanding contribution to parasitology, the Chalmers Memorial Medal 2013 to recognise outstanding contribution to Tropical Medicine, and in 2018 a Finalist in the BBSRC Innovator of the Year.
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