Meet our Team

Professor Janet Hemingway

iiCON Director

CBE, FRS, DSc, PhD, BSc, NAS (Foreign Associate), FMedSci FRCP (Hon), FRES (Hon), FAAM

Founding Director of iiCON and Professor of Tropical Medicine at LSTM, Professor Hemingway was appointed the Director of LSTM in 2001 and stepped down in 2019 having overseen a period of exceptional growth of the organisation. This included the awarding of Higher Educational Institution Status & Degree Awarding powers to LSTM. She was awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Control of Tropical Disease Vectors 2012.

She is a senior technical advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and has 40 years’ experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance. She has been PI on projects in excess of £200 million including the BMGF funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium, the ERDF funded Formulations programme and the BMGF funded Visceral Leishmaniasis Elimination programme.

Dr Becky Jones-Phillips

Senior Business Development Manager

Becky leads commercial business development for iiCON’s UKRI Strength In Places programme. She establishes new commercial and strategic relationships for translational research and in promoting the research agenda of LSTM to external audiences. With a PhD in infectious disease immunology, she has over 10 years’ experience in national business development strategy and implementation in the immunodiagnostics sector. She brings significant experience and expertise in commercial negotiations and industry engagement through innovative business development strategy and dynamic market landscaping.

Contact: Becky.Jones-Phillips@lstmed.ac.uk

Dr Lisa Baldwin

Senior Business Development Manager

Lisa supports iiCON’s ERDF funded Merseyside SME Support Programme and LSTM’s portfolio in diagnostics, brokering and supporting industry partnerships and accelerating products to market. She trained as a microbiologist and has an industry background developing point of care diagnostics and novel antibacterial formulations for household care products. A former Faraday Lecturer, Lisa has a PhD in Immunology. She has led the Liverpool City Region’s life science sector development and has extensive experience in technology transfer establishing strategic academic-industry partnerships.

Contact: Lisa.Bladwin@lstmed.ac.uk

Rinki Deb

Senior Programme Manager

Rinki is an experienced Senior Programme Manager with over 12 years’ experience working on translational and operational research projects in public health, and product development for vector control tools. She has a strong technical background in molecular biology, medical parasitology and project management and a proven track record of managing complex multi-sectoral, international partnerships.

Rinki has worked on several large-scale global public health programmes funded by FCDO, Wellcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to support elimination of neglected tropical diseases, namely visceral leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths. Prior to joining iiCON, she was part of the core team who developed the electromagnetic (EM) wave sensor for detecting alpha-cypermethrin in India and led the field trial to test the first DDT insecticide quantification kit prototype.

She currently has a team of two Trainee Programme Managers and is responsible for managing the iiCON portfolio and providing technical leadership to two BMGF funded projects: the indoor residual spray sensor for multiple insecticides, and a non-invasive wearable diagnostic sensor for LF detection.

Contact: Rinki.Deb@lstmed.ac.uk

Ruth Cobban

Communications Manager

An experienced communications practitioner with a background in regional news journalism, Ruth leads communications for iiCON. A former Account Director at a leading independent communications agency, Ruth has over 10 years’ strategic communications experience. She has directed and delivered high impact multi-platform campaigns for national brands across sectors including property, life sciences, and inward investment.

Contact: 07814 556 567

Email: Ruth.Cobbban@lstmed.ac.uk

Shelley Lewis

Finance Project Manager

With over 20 years’ experience in finance and project management, Shelley is iiCON’s Finance Project Manager and supports the ERDF and UKRI Strength in Places programmes. Her experience includes working within Research Management Services for LSTM, supporting the school to submit funding applications to a variety of national and international funders.

Prior to LSTM, she worked across several finance roles at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) over a number of years, monitoring and reporting of large faculty school accounts, grant awards and contracts. Her final role at UCLan was in Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer supporting financial delivery and continual reporting of several strategic externally funded economic development projects.

Before joining UCLan, she worked as a Finance Manager for a Music and Creative Industries Development Agency in Liverpool for 12 years, providing financial support to music and creative businesses and practitioners across Merseyside through the provision of business incubator grants, grant funded community initiatives and support for creative business events.

Contact: Shelley.Lewis@lstmed.ac.uk

Andrea Fyfe

Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant to Professor Janet Hemingway, Andrea joined LSTM in 2017 working with Professor Hemingway in her capacity as Director of LSTM and joined iiCON in 2019.Andrea brings a wealth of experience in EA support and business administration to Janet and the wider iiCON team. She is instrumental in organising key events and high-profile visits.

Contact: Andrea.Fyfe@lstmed.ac.uk

Dr Chloe Pugh

Trainee Programme Manager

Chloe Pugh is a Trainee Programme Manager, focused on supporting multiple projects, both industrial and academic, to drive forward innovation for infectious diseases. Within iiCON, Chloe supports both the day to day and long-term running of ongoing projects to ensure objectives are achieved. Chloe completed her PhD in materials chemistry in 2018 at the University of Liverpool, studying low density organic molecular cages for applications including selective gas separation. After this, she moved into materials scientist roles within the manufacturing industry. Her background has primarily been focused on super lightweight polymers for use in extreme environments.

Jordan Hamilton

Trainee Programme Manager

Jordan is a Trainee Programme Manager within the iiCON team. He has a background in Sports Engineering and has a BEng in Sports Technology from Sheffield Hallam University. Prior to iiCON, Jordan worked for Opta Sports as a data analyst.

Within iiCON, Jordan is one of two Trainee Programme Managers working with the Senior Programme Manager to ensure both European Regional Development Fund and UK Research and Innovation – Strength in Places funded programmes achieve their targets and ensure smooth operation of activities. In addition, he supports a BMGF funded project developing novel technology for indoor residual spray quality assurance. Jordan has a wide range of experience and background in data analytics, IT, finance and use of customer relationship management databases.

iiCON Platform Leads

Professor Daniela Ferreira

Head of Clinical Sciences Department, Professor of respiratory infection and vaccines immunology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Daniela is a global leader in Respiratory Infections and Controlled Human Infection Challenge(link is external) with experience in bacterial challenge, co-infection studies, mucosal immunity (nose and lungs) and vaccine testing and immune responses. She leads a Programme of work on respiratory infections and accelerated vaccine development with over £20million from various funders including BMGF, MRC, UKRI, NIHR and several industry partners. She leads the unique Experimental Human Pneumococcal Consortium in partnership with over 50 laboratories of worldwide experts on respiratory infection and pneumococcal biology. To date her team has safely challenged over 1800 participants with live bacteria in over 30 clinical studies in their bespoke research clinic at the Accelerator.

Her team has played a substantial role in the UK covid-19 pandemic response as a trial site for several covid vaccine studies including the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine.

Daniela obtained a PhD in Immunology in 2009 from the University of Sao Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil). From 2001 to 2009 Daniela trained at Butantan Institute (Sao Paulo, Brazil) on development of novel vaccines against respiratory infections using different formulations, new adjuvants and routes of immunization. During her PhD Daniela was awarded the prestigious Robert Austrian Research Award in Pneumococcal Vaccinology to develop novel nasal vaccines (2006). Daniela joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2009 as a postdoctoral scientist and was promoted to Professor and Head of department in 2018.

Dr Adam Roberts

Reader, Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Resistance, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Adam Roberts is a Reader and AMR lead at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Adam has been investigating the fundamental mechanisms of transferable AMR for more than 20 years and, since arriving at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2017, has focussed on translational aspects of AMR and early-stage drug discovery and development.

His current research activities include investigations into the many drivers of resistance in a One Health context, the molecular genetics of resistance mechanisms and mobile genetic elements and how they contribute to the dissemination of AMR and the use of evolutionary biology to inform antibiotic treatment regimens and drug design. His team also carry out discovery projects, investigating novel antimicrobial natural products, target-site identification, mechanism of action, and determining the resistance development potential of novel molecules within the LSTM’s drug development pipeline.

Adam’s research activities have led to more than 100 peer reviewed publications and reviews on AMR and his group is currently funded by the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund, and the European Regional Development Fund plus various charities including the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Foundation. He runs The Transposon Registry and the award-winning citizen-science, drug-discovery project Swab and Send, is the Network coordinator of the JPIAMR Network of European and African Researchers on AMR (NEAR-AMR) and is a policy advisor (Drug Resistance) to the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Dr Derek Lindsay

Chief Operating Officer, Infex Therapeutics.

Dr Lindsay was a co-founder of Redx Pharma and its Chief Operating Officer from 2012-17. His former roles include being a Director of Innovation of pharmaceutical industry consortium Britest Ltd from 2006 to 2012, and R&D Director of Avecia Pharmaceutical Products in a management career of more than 30 years. Derek has worked in R&D, Process Development and Hazards at Avecia and its predecessor businesses, Zeneca and ICI, which he joined in 1988, after initially working in R&D at BP from 1985.

Professor Giancarlo Biagini

Head of the Department of Tropical Disease Biology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Professor Biagini’s career has focused on the biochemistry, pharmacology and therapeutics of human pathogens most notably Plasmodium falciparum and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Basic biochemical research includes the characterisation of bioenergetic components in the respiratory chain and of key substrate and drug transporters. This fundamental work has contributed to our understanding of mechanisms of drug action, major resistance mechanisms in malaria and validation of novel targets for chemotherapy in both malaria and TB. He has over 20 years’ experience in molecular pharmacology and drug discovery/development from the development of HTS campaigns to candidate declaration working with Industry and with product development partnerships (PDPs).

More recently, he has been involved in the development of new image-based pharmacodynamic platforms to identify and accelerate antimalarial and antitubercular pre-clinical drug candidates, as well as clinical pharmacology projects towards understanding PK-PD determinants of poor patient outcomes again for both TB and malaria patients. He is the drug lead within Research Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics (RCDD) at LSTM. He is chair of the LSTM Research Committee, Director of the MRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Translational and Quantitative Skills in Global Health and co-lead of LSTM’s MRC Skills Development Fellowship programme.

Professor William Hope OBE (FRACP, FRCPA, PhD)

Dame Sally Davies Chair of AMR Research – Director, Centre of Excellence in Infectious Diseases Research – Co-Lead, NIHR Infectious Diseases National Specialty Group University of Liverpool.

Professor Hope qualified in Medicine in 1991, before undertaking specialist training in infectious diseases and clinical microbiology. He completed his PhD in antimicrobial pharmacology in 2006, while undertaking fellowships at the University of Manchester, UK, and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. He was an NIHR Clinician Scientist and this award focussed on individualised antimicrobial therapy.

Professor Hope leads the Centre of Excellence in Infectious Diseases Research (CEIDR) which focuses on infection therapeutics. Areas of special interest and research are antimicrobial pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, antimicrobial drug development and individualisation of antimicrobial therapy. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases as well as NIHR National Specialty Co-Lead for Infectious Diseases. Professor Hope is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and is the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network Co-lead for Infectious Diseases.

Professor Andy Shaw

Head of the Built Environment and Sustainable Technology Research Institute (BEST) in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Liverpool John Moores University

Professor Shaw also leads the RF and Microwave (RFM) research theme within the institute. He graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BEng Hons in Electrical and Electronic engineering in 1990, a MSc in Materials Science (Engineering) in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1995, titled “The realisation of an industrial free electron laser”. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool for 8 years on industrial microwave applications for both material processing, sensor technologies and microwave plasma applications.

In 2003, he become a lecturer at the University of Liverpool within the Electrical Engineering department whilst continuing to research in microwave industrial applications, but also in the use of subsea radio frequency (RF) communications as part of a MoD funded project and later as an FP6 EU funded project. In 2005, he joined Liverpool John Moores University as Senior Lecturer in the General Engineering Research Institute (GERI) before becoming the head of the Electrical Engineering department within the School of Engineering in 2007. He became a Reader in Environmental and Sustainable technology in 2010 within the BEST research institute and finally director of the BEST research institute in 2015 and finally attained his Professorship in Microwave technology in 2016. He has over 20 years of expertise in developing industrial applications, such as material cutting, vitrification, exhaust gas conditioning for vehicles, pyrolysis, torrefaction and gasification, microwave chemistry and microwave biodiesel production. Along with the design and development of numerous NDT sensor technologies for the process engineering, healthcare and manufacturing sectors. He is also a director of the CO Research Trust which is a charity that funds Carbon monoxide research.

Professor Rasmita Raval

Professor in Chemistry and Director of the Surface Science Research Centre at the University of Liverpool

Professor Raval is also the Director of ‘The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces’ and is one of the four co-directors of the UK ‘National Biofilms Innovation Centre’.

Rasmita Raval is a Professor in Chemistry and Director of the Surface Science Research Centre at the University of Liverpool. She is also the Director of ‘The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces’ and is one of the four co-directors of the UK ‘National Biofilms Innovation Centre’.

Her interdisciplinary research spans knowledge-based design of functional surfaces, molecular nanoscience and bio-interfaces. Her research group combines protocols for targetted assembly of functional nano-architectures and concurrent development and utilisation of powerful scientific techniques to probe the behaviour and performance of these systems at the atomic, molecular and cellular level. This experimental effort is combined with theoretical modelling to yield insights into molecular and biological responses and behaviour at interfaces.

She also leads a dedicated innovation team to translate frontier research into technology platforms, with a specific focus on antimicrobial and anti-infective surfaces and materials. Accelerated translation is driven within an active and connected collaboration ecosystem involving multinational companies and SMEs across multiple sectors, healthcare stakeholders and regional, national and international agencies.

Dr Ana Isabel Cubas Atienzar

Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Ana obtained her degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Murcia in 2013.

In 2017 Ana obtained her PhD from the Salford University (UK). Her PhD focused on the epidemiology and genetic diversity of parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the Peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico. Shortly after her PhD she was appointed as Research Fellow at the Roslin Institute, in Edinburgh where she worked on diagnostic development for porcine viral and bacterial diseases.

She joined LSTM in 2019 as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate working on the development and implementation of novel and Point-of-Care diagnostics for the detection of High-Consequence Infectious Diseases such as Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, Lassa fever and COVID-19. She is additionally involved in molecular diagnosis of AMR markers and in the evaluation of a number of commercial tests, notably for SARS-CoV-2.

Ana lectures and runs laboratory practicals in LSTM master module Trop 936 (AMR diagnostics and ELISA diagnostics). She has also supervised master projects and dissertations, including training and lab supervision.

Dr David Weetman

Reader, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Dr Weetman graduated in Zoology (BSc) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in Ecology (MSc) from The University of Wales, Bangor. His PhD at The University of Liverpool was followed by postdoctoral positions in the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Group at the University of Hull. He joined LSTM in 2006 working as a senior PDRA on IVCC and then NIAID-funded projects on the genetic basis of insecticide resistance in the primary malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. He was appointed as Reader in 2020.

His research aims primarily to investigate the genes and mutations responsible for insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and phlebotomine sandflies and how these spread among populations. A goal of this work is to identify and apply DNA markers for molecular surveillance of insecticide resistance in control programmes. A second area of research is in questions related to the causes and consequences of vector speciation and population subdivision and how these regulate transfer of adaptive traits of medical importance. He is also broadly interested in the application of molecular techniques to applied ecological questions in vector biology. He coordinates the Vector Research Support group (VRS), which provides molecular and biochemical collaboration, training and services to students, visiting scientists and for control trials.

Professor Nicholas Feasey

Infectious Diseases physician and Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Professor Feasey is based at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Research Programme in Blantyre, Malawi. His research is focused on the surveillance and management of antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection, and taking a one health approach to exploring the transmission of enteric pathogens associated with invasive disease. His research group uses bacterial genomics, spatial statistics and transmission modelling in collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and CHICAS at the University of Lancaster.

Dr Grant Hughes

Reader and Wolfson Fellow at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Professor Hughes’ PhD research at The University of Queensland focused on developing a symbiotic control strategy of an agricultural disease caused by a viral pathogen transmitted by Planthoppers. To further his expertise in the vector biology and symbiosis fields he undertook a Postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and then a Research Associate position at Penn State University where he examined the interactions between Wolbachia, a common bacterial endosymbiont of insects, other microbiota, and Plasmodium parasites in Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2015, he joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch as an Assistant Professor and focused on examining interactions between the microbiome and arboviruses in Aedes mosquitoes. Professor Hughes joined the Departments of Vector Biology and Tropical Disease Biology at LSTM in 2018 where his group works on arboviruses and microbes of mosquitoes.

Professor Nicholas Casewell

Director of the Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions and Chair in Tropical Disease Biology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Following completion of his doctoral studies characterising the venom composition of medically important snake species at Bangor University, Prof. Casewell worked for two years for MicroPharm Ltd leading research and clinical development of snakebite treatments known as antivenoms. Thereafter, Prof. Casewell was awarded a NERC Independent Fellowship and returned to Bangor University to investigate the origin and function of fish venoms.

In 2014, Prof. Casewell joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and his research has since focused on understanding the basis for variation in venom toxin composition in snakes and rationally applying this information to devise new therapeutic solutions for combatting snakebite. In 2020, Prof. Casewell was appointed Director of the Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions at LSTM, and currently leads a team of 25 individuals focused on biomedical, clinical and public health research activities in the UK and overseas relating to tropical snakebite.

Dr Neill Liptrott

Lecturer of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, Coordinator of The Nanotherapeutics Hub at The University of Liverpool

Dr Liptrott has a background in pharmacology, immunology, immunopharmacology and molecular cell biology. His research is aimed at investigating the biological interactions of conventional and nanotechnology-enabled medicines and therapeutics as well as other novel therapeutic strategies such as cellular therapies. His team is also investigating impacts on cellular health and metabolism that may underpin these interactions and building structure-activity relationships between nanomaterial characteristics and their impact on biological systems using established and novel techniques.

Dr Liptrott was awarded a tenure-track fellowship within the department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology in 2015 and subsequently confirmed as a Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology where he heads a number of advanced therapeutics/materials immunocompatibility research programmes.

Dr Lisa Baldwin

Senior Business Manager Merseyside SME Support Programme: Formulated Products for Infectious Disease programme lead, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Dr Baldwin leads iiCON’s Merseyside SME support programme and supports iiCON’s portfolio in diagnostics.

She began her career in industry developing point of care diagnostics tests and then worked on novel antibacterial formulations. Her PhD in Immunology focused on adverse immune responses to implanted biomaterials.

During this time Dr Baldwin was selected as a Faraday Lecturer and toured the country promoting science. She has since led the Liverpool City Region’s life science sector development and has worked in academia supporting academic-industry partnerships