WHO/ TDR Symposium

Implementation research  ̶   key to effectiveness

TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, is a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty. It is hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO), and is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO.

TDR is helping to develop a critical mass of health researchers from low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) conducting research in LMICs, particularly focused on disciplines relevant to implementation research (IR). This generally involves a multi-disciplinary approach related to public health programmes. The aim is to develop a cadre of researchers addressing implementation bottlenecks, identifying optimal contextual approaches and promoting the uptake of research findings.  This session showcases some of the research results supported by TDR in the WHO Western and Pacific Region (WPPRO) and South East Asia Region (SEARO).


Introduction by Chair, Mahnaz Vahedi

Opening remarks from Director TDR, John Reeder

  1. Predicting malaria vector distribution under climate change scenarios in China: challenges for malaria elimination
    Professor Wang Duoquan, NIPD CDC China
  2. Translation of evidence into policy and practice: success story of implementation research on TB self-help groups in Myanmar
    Dr Saw Saw, Deputy Director, Health Systems Research Division, Department of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Myanmar
  3. Dengue mortality in Malaysian government hospitals: what have we learnt in nursing perspectives
    Associate Professor Kim Lam Soh, Head of Department, Department of Nursing and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  4. EcoHealth: an innovative approach to the problem of schistosomiasis in Gonzaga, Cagayan, the Philippines
    Dr Lydia Leonardo, Department of Parasitology, College of Public Health, University of the Phillipines
  5. Communicating and monitoring surveillance and response activities for malaria elimination in China
    Professor Jun Cao, Deputy Director, Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases (JIPD)
  6. Questions and discussions moderated
    Mahnaz Vahedi, 

MMV Symposium

From Fast Killing to Blocking the Life Cycle: New Potential Candidate Drugs for Malaria

The spread of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to both artemisinin derivatives and traditional partner drugs has emphasized more than ever the need for new antimalarial candidate drugs to be discovered, developed and delivered.  This symposium, has been organized in collaboration Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and their partners.  It brings together four world class drug hunters for malaria from leading international teams within academia and industry to present the parasitology, mechanisms of action and resistance (when known), pharmacokinetics and safety on four completely novel compounds in the advanced discovery and early preclinical drug development phases that have the potential to form components of next generation medicines for malaria.


Chair and opening remarks: VP Head of Discovery, MMV, Jeremy Burrows

Co-chair: Professor Susan Charman, CDCO, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

  1. Novel oxaborole antimalarial candidate drug Dr Eric Easom, VP Neglected Diseases, Anacor, San Francisco, USA
  2. Novel candidate drugs for malaria from phenotypic screening Dr John Haselden, VP Head of Malaria Discovery, GSK, Tres Cantos, Spain
  3. Next Generation PI4K inhibitors that impact the entire Plasmodium lifecycle Professor Kelly Chibale, Founder and Director of H3D, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Novel Antimalarials from Diversity Oriented Synthesis Dr Marshall Morningstar, Director Medicinal Chemistry, Broad Institute, Boston, USA

DNDi-MMV Special Symposium: Open Source Drug Discovery

In order to accelerate the search for new medicines for various diseases, more open approaches to drug discovery are being explored. Several of these approaches involve a high level of transparency, and may involve, for example, real-time data sharing without the protection of intellectual property, unrestricted worldwide collaborations that may be joined by any researcher and the obligation-free sharing of chemical samples. Such initiatives may be grouped together as “open source” since they mimic the working practices of open source software development, in which any member of the community is eligible to be a full participant, and there is no “insider knowledge”. Open source drug discovery involves an unusual trade-off: a lowered economic clarity in how medicines may be taken through to market, in return for large potential efficiency gains in the underlying research process. This special symposium examines the successes and challenges of several exemplar projects that have experimented with this new model.


Chairs: Dr Robert Don and Dr Matt Todd

Speaker 1: Dr Jeremy Burrows (MMV): Malaria and Pathogen Boxes

Speaker 2: Dr Robert Don (DNDi): title TBD (neglected trop diseases)

Speaker 3: Dr Matt Todd (University of Sydney) The Open Source Malaria Project

Speaker 4: Dr Mark Blaskovich (CO-ADD) (TB/antimicrobials/fungi)


Symposium: WASH for the control of the Soil-transmitted Helminths

Co-Chairs: Darren Gray and Archie Clements

More than a third of the world’s population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths (STH) mainly in the developing or impoverished nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America.1 The STH are intestinal parasitic nematode worms, causing human disease. They are the most common of the 13 major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and the most wide-spread and disabling chronic infections globally.2 Ascaris lumbricoides is the most prevalent STH with an estimated 1 billion infections globally; and Trichuris trichiura and hookworm (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) each infect approximately 600-800 million.1 The STHs are of significant public health importance – particularly among school-aged children, who, if infected, suffer from profound physical deficits, including anaemia and malnutrition, stunted growth, reduced fitness and cognitive delays.3-8 To date persistent mass drug administration (MDA) has been the cornerstone of control; however, it is unable to prevent re-infection, and after treatment is stopped, prevalence returns to pre-treatment levels within 6-18 months.2,7-12 This leads many to question the sustainability of STH control based on de-worming alone. Additional control measures as part of an integrated approach are required to augment chemotherapy to treat and prevent infection.

It has long been regarded that Interventions to improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are of critical importance to the sustainable control and elimination of STH, however clear evidence is currently lacking. This symposium features 3 field studies that examine the impact of WASH as a whole and its component parts on STH infection; along with a mathematical modelling study of short, medium and long-term impact predictions.

  1. Introduction – Darren Gray / Archie Clements 
  2. BALatrine – Don Stewart
  3. Magic Glasses – Darren Gray
  4. WASH for WORMS – Susana Nery
  5. Modelling WASH control strategies – Luc Coffeng
  6. Discussion – Archie Clements