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Professor Paul Denny and team announced as MRC Impact prize 2023 finalists in the Outstanding Team Impact category.

Congratulations to Biosciences' Professor Paul Denny, lead nominee on the project ‘Equitable global cooperation to support the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases’.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect around one in six people worldwide, mostly from the poorest communities of the ‘Global South’. Of these, the World Health Organisation acknowledges the parasite mediated NTDs leishmaniasis and Chagas disease as amongst the most neglected, impacting millions every year. These diseases are frequently lethal if untreated, and often disable survivors, with both medical and economic consequences in the endemic countries and beyond. 

Current drugs have serious, potentially fatal, side-effects, are difficult to administer where most needed and where available, drug-resistant parasite strains are on the rise. Part of the ‘neglect’ concerns our poor understanding of these biologically complex diseases, which require a considerable, prolonged and coordinated programme of research. Our response, the MRC Global Challenges Research Fund Global Network for NTDs, brought together over 500 researchers from 13 institutes around the world, via new collaborative research teams focused on leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. The network sought to democratise and decolonise the field, through growing laboratory research capacity and expertise in endemic countries across Asia and South America. The team comprised early career and senior researchers from all of the associated nations, including professional support colleagues. The team established coordinated laboratory projects, sharing expertise, knowledge and skills, and has been described by many members as a ‘family.’ This network has achieved significant scientific advances, moreover our cross-disciplinary partnerships between endemic country scientists have demonstrated globally equitable working practice. This exemplar brought in and influenced private sector collaborators – revealing the network’s most tangible legacy and impact.

The Project Team is as follows:

  • Prof Nahid Ali, Indian Hub Lead, CSIR-IICB, India
  • Prof Paul Denny, PI/UK Hub Lead, Durham University, UK
  • Dr Saba Farooq, Assistant Prof, ICCBS, Pakistan
  • Mr Mohd Kamran, PhD Student, CSIR-IICB, India
  • Dr Nathaniel Jones, Research Fellow, University of York, UK
  • Dr Mags Leighton, Project Manager, Durham University, UK
  • Dr Janaina de Freitas Nascimento, Postdoctoral Researcher, USP-SP, Brazil
  • Dr Exequiel Porta, Research Fellow, Durham University, UK
  • Prof Ariel Silber, South America Hub Lead, USP-SP, Brazil
  • Dr Katrina van Bocxclaer, Research Fellow, University of York, UK
  • Prof Sammer Yousuf, Pakistan Hub, Co-Lead, ICCBS, Pakistan

For further Information the full list of nominees can be found here