Medical Entomology Plenary Speakers

Gene drives for genetic control of the malaria mosquito

Andrew Marc Hammond

Biography: Dr. Andrew Hammond is a molecular biologist working to develop technologies that can prevent malaria transmission by the Anopheles mosquito. During his PhD at Imperial College London, Drew pioneered the first gene drive system designed to suppress populations of the malaria mosquito and has since adapted it to achieve complete population elimination in cage experiments. Working within the Target Malaria Consortium, Andrew has been directing large cage experiments to test the strains he developed at a purpose built facility in Italy before field testing can begin. In 2018, Andrew was awarded the Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship to initiate a multinational project aimed at dissecting the neurogenetic pathways underlying key mosquito behaviours. Andrew is now a postdoctoral research fellow based at Oxford University, John’s Hopkins University, and Imperial College London investigating mosquito neurobiology whilst continuing to develop new and exciting technologies for genome engineering and genetic control in the malaria mosquito. 

The search for Borrelia and other tick-borne pathogens down under

Charlotte Oskam

Biography: Dr. Charlotte Oskam is an early career academic and co-director of the Vector & Waterborne Pathogens Research Group at Murdoch University with Professor Una Ryan and Professor Peter Irwin. Charlotte graduated with a BBiomedSc and MSc from the Anatomy & Structural Biology Department at The University of Otago in 2004 and 2008, respectively. She completed her PhD in 2013 at Murdoch University in the Ancient DNA Laboratory, which incorporated an interdisciplinary approach to investigate extinction processes through ancient DNA and stable isotopic profiling. Since joining the VWBPR group in 2013, her research now focuses on Australian ticks and characterising their microbial communities to inform the current debate about tick borne disease in Australia. She was the recipient of the 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Award for Early Career Development and Achievement in Science at Murdoch University. Charlotte is passionate about promoting women in science and was recently involved in creating a policy to ensure more women researchers are chosen as invited speakers at conferences.

How to make an outbreak of leishmaniasis in the Americas: the eco-epidemiological momentum

Oscar Daniel Salomón

Biography: Dr. Salomón is a medical entomologist (PhD Buenos Aires University) and public health epidemiologist (MPH Yale University). He formerly was the inaugural Director of the National Center for the Research on Endemic and Epidemic Diseases (CeNDIE) from 1997-2011. Salomón was then appointed to create and lead a project of the National Institute of Tropical Medicine (MOH –INMeT) in the northern border of Argentina, where he is still the Director and Principal Researcher from the National Council of Science and Technology (CONICET). His research focuses on the eco-epidemiology of leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, but he also contributes to research on arboviruses, venomous animals, and medical anthropology. He co-created and coordinates the Network of Research on Leishmaniases in Argentina (REDILA), and the National Program of Leishmaniases, where he is also technical advisor. Salomón participates in international boards and co-authored documents for the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.

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