Dr Angela Loyse is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at St George's.
How did you get interested in Clinical Research?
"I have always been interested in research, even as a medical student. I was drawn to Infectious Diseases as a broad, multi-system speciality with a heavy focus on research and the potential for working internationally.
"I really enjoyed my BSc research project at the Institute of Child Health and was tempted at that stage to do a joint PhD/clinical training programme. In hindsight, I'm glad I did my clinical research in the speciality I trained in.
"My clinical research still took place at an early stage of my career, just at the end of the old senior house officer training programme at Barts and The London, after returning to Infectious Diseases bosses at St George’s Hospital looking for career advice. In 2006 I packed my bags for South Africa, first to Cape Town and then Pietermaritzburg to design, implement and co-ordinate a Clinical Infectious Diseases published phase II trial of combination antifungal therapy for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis as part of my MD(Res) supervised by Prof Tom Harrison. My MD(Res) also included work on the largest case series of MRI images of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis to date, a histopathological case series focusing on the pathology of raised intracranial pressure, review of the poorly accessible antifungal agent flucytosine and advocacy on antifungal medicines for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis.
What schemes helped you with funding for your research?
"I was funded by a Medical Research Council trial grant during most of my MD(Res) whilst working in South Africa. In 2010 I obtained a training number in Infectious Diseases following my return from South Africa in 2009, and in 2012 I obtained a clinical academic lecturer post at St George’s. This was an important step and enabled me to have the funding and critical time needed to develop into an independent researcher.
"From 2012 onward I assisted in designing and played a critical role in the implementation of the ongoing ACTA (Advancing Cryptococcal Meningitis Treatment in Africa) trial, the largest trial of cryptococcal meningitis to date. In 2015 I obtained European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) funding (1.88 million euros) for the DREAMM (Driving REduced AIDS-associated Meningo-encephalitis Mortality) project which I designed independently. I am funded on this project and another trial on the EDCTP funded AMBITION trial of liposomal amphotericin B for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis. I was appointed a senior lecturer and honorary infectious diseases consultant at St George’s University in 2016.
How do you see your career developing in the future?
"I am the chief investigator of the DREAMM project which is backed by Institut Pasteur and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). The project will take place in three low and middle income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Malawi, Tanzania and Cameroon.
"I am also a lead co-investigator on the EDCTP funded TRIP (Translating Research into Practice) trial taking place in Tanzania which is a follow-on implementation project to the successful, Lancet published REMSTART trial. My role also includes work on the aforementioned ACTA, AMBITION and RIFASHORT trials. I am currently seeking funding alongside collaborators for the REFINE trial and the scientific sister project to DREAMM which will involve the development of new, near-patient patient diagnostics using nanopore technology (MinION, nanopore Oxford).
"Lastly, I chair the cryptoMAG advocacy group in collaboration with CDC. The aim of the group is to improve access to essential antifungal medicines and tests for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV-associated meningo-encephalitis. CryptoMAG members include stakeholders from WHO, MSF, CHAI, SA’s NICD, GAFFI and MSH. I want to continue a career in clinical infectious diseases research and branch into implementation research whilst continuing my advocacy work. Ultimately, I aim to work in the fields of clinical and implementation research and international public health policy."
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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2016 09:50