More than £100,000 in grants were recently awarded for clinicians and scientists across the field of tropical medicine and hygiene through small grants and travel scholarships from the RSTHM. Dr Leopold Tientcheu, postdoctoral immunologist with Vaccines and Immunity Theme at MRC Unit The Gambia (MRCG) is one of the proud winners of the small grants.
The Small grant applications spanned many health and science disciplines, including immunology, health service research, disease prevalence studies, drug/insecticide resistance, vector control, and diagnostics. Though the competition was stiff, Dr Leopold Tientcheu was one of 17 applicants to receive an award out of the 350 applications received by the RSTMH.
Dr Leopold Tientcheu is a Cameroonian postdoctoral immunologist, with extensive experience in immunology, the genetics of drug resistance and Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) diversity. His current research focus is to understand how circulating MTBC strains causing pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in endemic African countries (The Gambia and South Africa) interact with the host immunity to establish disease and how this interaction affects TB diagnosis, treatment or vaccines.
The award Dr Tientcheu won facilitated a 2 month visit at the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) hosted by Prof Robert Wilkinson at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to complete his project titled “Investigation of different African host response to M. tuberculosis complex lineages”. The project was initiated with Dr Tientcheu’s African Research Excellent Fund (AREF) fellowship in 2016. This is an excellent opportunity to continue building a stronger south-south collaboration between our unit and the UCT. This project also provided pilot data for bigger grant applications to investigate the impact of African host population and MTBC lineages diversity on TB treatment, in order to inform novel treatment approaches such as host directed therapy for TB using immunomodulatories molecules.
17 travel scholarships worth £16,915 were also worn by other applicants. Other research supported by RSTMH grants include:
- ‘Antibiotic resistance of the gut microbiome of sickle cell disease children in Ghana’ (Kwabena Obeng Duedu, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana)
- ‘Exploring the salivary glycome of Aedes aegypti’ (Karina Mondragon-Shem, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, U.K.)
- ‘A crown of thorns? Coronavirus diversity in Puerto Rican bats and implications for public health monitoring’ (Anna Rose Sjodin, University of Connecticut, USA)
Read more about the RSTMH grant on https://rstmh.org/blog/2017/jul/24/results-our-grants-programme-1718