I obtained my diploma in pharmaceutical sciences and the federal diploma for pharmacists from the University of Basel, Switzerland and then went on to do a PhD with Prof Blaise Genton and Prof Hans-Peter Beck at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute at the University of Basel. My PhD research focussed on the effects of pharmacogenetics on pharmacokinetics of artemisinin-based drug combinations in malaria patients. I was involved in study protocol design; filing to ethics committees; data collection and study monitoring while based in Tanzania and Cambodia; data management; technology development (including a microarray-based system for the simultaneous analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms in human genes involved in the metabolism of antimalarial drugs, i.e. cytochrome P450 isoenzymes and N-acetyltransferase 2, and a LC-tandem mass spectrometry assay for the simultaneous detection of 14 antimalarials and their metabolites in plasma); population pharmacokinetic modelling using a nonlinear mixed-effects modelling approach. Before joining the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) I was working in one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies as a Medical Scientific Liaison Manager in the therapeutic area of arthritis and bone.
When I first joined LSTM, I worked with Drs Ian Hastings, Anja Terlouw, Katherine Kay and Daniel Hayes, on a project funded by the Medical Research Council addressing the methodological question of how best to combine the available sources of pharmacokinetic and trial data on antimalarial drugs and use them to optimise drug deployment policies that produce robust, effective and sustainable drug dosing regimens. As Post-doctoral Research Associate in the group of Dr Anja Terlouw and the Associate Group Head Malaria Pharmaco-epidemiology at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW), I was involved in several trials that aim at characterising the cardiac safety of antimalarial treatment when used in programmatic settings (ADJusT, ADAPT1, START-IPT, and STOPMiP). I also led a pooled individual patient safety analysis on antimalarial cardiac safety (IMPACT) with co-investigators from MLW, LSTM, the College of Medicine, the University of Cape Town, and the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network.
I currently work as Research Pharmacist on DolPHIN-2, a multinational project led by the University of Liverpool which aims to reduce the rate of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV through research into a new HIV drug called dolutegravir. The project will investigate whether dolutegravir is superior to efavirenz-based regimens (the current standard of care within sub-Saharan Africa) at preventing mother to child transmission of HIV for women who begin HIV treatment in the third trimester of pregnancy.
I also contribute to the contents of the Liverpool HIV Drug Interactions website by predicting drug-drug interactions where no clinical data is yet available.
I am leading the population pharmacokinetic sub-study in IMPROVE 1 & 2. This multicentre trial in pregnant women living with or without HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi will compare the safety, tolerance and beneficial effects of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine alone, or combined with azithromycin, to the current strategy in reducing pregnancy loss, low birthweight, preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age babies, and early infant deaths.
Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.
- Member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
- Member of the Swiss Society of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (SSTMP)
- Member of the Swiss Pharmaceutical Society (pharmaSuisse)
- Member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)
- Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)
- Member of the British Society for Parasitology (BSP)