Working with some excellent Ethiopian collaborators and in particular Pascale Kropf at Imperial college, London, we are using parasite genetics and RNA-seq of clinical samples to understand the pathogenesis and epidemiology of leishmaniasis in Ethiopia.
I lead the Sanger Institute involvement in the first reference genome for Haemonchus contortus. Haemonchus is widely used as a model in research on anti-nematode anthelminthics, so it was natural to try and use this resource to try and understand the genetic basis of anthelmintihcs resistance.
I was involved in the earliest work on the genomics of Leishmania populations, and with a range of collaborators have published on Leishmania populations in the Indian subcontinent, East Africa and South America, and recently the first global picture of the Leishmania donovani species complex.
I was involved in attempts to provide genetic evidence to support the Guinea worm eradication program. I was initially asked whether we could show genetically that the worms then appearing in dog infections in Chad were the same - Dracunculus medinensis - as those causing human cases.
My first involvement in parasitology was through leading reference genome sequencing, assembly and annotation projects for a number of key helminth species of medical and veterinary importance. This inlucdes the nematodes Haemonchus contortus, Globodera pallida and Onchocerca volvulus.