DNA biosensor, environmental DNA, Schistosoma, Fasciola, Brucella
Research Area 3: High-throughput, rapid, accurate and easy to use in-field detection technologies
We are collaboration between Imperial College London and The Natural History Museum in London. We are currently working as part of a large international project on designing and testing global health biosensors. As part of this project we have developed a highly specific DNA biosensor that detects and differentiates between different Schistosoma species. Schistosomes cause human and veterinary disease. Whilst they are usually associated with developing countries, there has been a recent outbreak in southern Europe. Our biosensor test is rapid and highly specific since it detects nucleic acid sequences, and could be applied to both diagnostic and environmental testing.
For this project we would adapt our DNA biosensor to detect other parasitic or bacterial pathogens, namely Fasciola and Brucella. Together, we have extensive expertise in human and veterinary parasitology, including significant field work. We are looking for collaborative partners who can complement our existing expertise in other animal pathogens e.g. African Swine Fever.
The hosting institution, Imperial College London (ICL) is consistently rated amongst the world's best universities. For example, it is considered the 10th best in the world according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2020).
The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a leading research centre that houses 80 million specimens. More than 300 scientists work at the NHM and have expertise in life sciences and earth sciences. In our "sustainability" research theme, we are using the museum's collections and research expertise to study wild relatives of food plants and their pests to predict the spread of disease and to extract and utilise scarce natural resources sustainably.