Polio Working Group

Imperial College London

Nicholas Grassly, PhD

Nicholas Grassly, PhDProfessor Grassly is an epidemiologist with an interest in infectious diseases and the role of vaccines and drug treatment in their prevention. He heads the Vaccine Epidemiology research group within the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. Dr. Grassly began his research career working on HIV and other sexually transmitted infection, when he was responsible for the UNAIDS epidemiology reference group at Imperial (led by Professor Geoff Garnett). He became a Royal Society University Research Fellow in 2004 and since that time has worked extensively on poliovirus, identifying failure of the oral vaccine in India as a major challenge to global eradication. This work has led to clinical trials that aim to improve mucosal immunity and limit vaccine failure, which he is currently pursuing in collaboration with colleagues at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. He is also interested in improving strategies for the mass distribution of azithromycin that aim to reduce transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis and eliminate blindness due to this pathogen.

Dr. Grassly is responsible for the organisation, curriculum and delivery of the course in infectious disease epidemiology. He teaches a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in biology and medicine at Imperial College and supervises PhD students working on infectious diseases and vaccine epidemiology.


Tara D. Mangal, PhD

Tara D. Mangal, PhDDr. Mangal's main research interests focus on the epidemiology of infectious diseases and the use of mathematical models to understand transmission and develop control strategies. She joined the MRC Centre, Imperial College London, in January 2011 as a Research Associate in the Polio Research Group led by Professor Nick Grassly. Her research is driven by an interest in policy and aims to provide answers to key questions concerning eradication of diseases. Currently, her research activities include assessing the impact of oral poliovirus vaccines and inactivated poliovirus vaccines on poliovirus transmission in endemic countries and developing models to inform policy decisions. This research involves collaboration with the World Health Organisation and health officials from affected countries.

Prior to moving to London, Dr. Mangal was a post-doc at Hong Kong University's Department of Community Medicine working with Dr. Joseph Wu on antiviral resistance in influenza outbreaks and optimal surveillance strategies. Her PhD was based at the University of Liverpool with Drs. Steve Paterson and Andy Fenton. The project was a combination of laboratory work, mathematical modelling and GIS modelling to better understand the impact of long-term climate change on schistosomiasis transmission. Previously, she was involved with the National Malaria Control Programme in Mozambique studying misdiagnosis of malaria in rural health settings with Dr. Guy Barnish.

Kathleen O'Reilly, PhD

Kathleen O'Reilly, PhDDr. O'Reilly is a Medical Research Council (MRC) Research Fellow at Imperial College London. She has been actively involved in poliomyelitis research, with a focus on using mathematical and statistical methods to understand population immunity and control through vaccination. Recent outputs have included a publication in the Lancet of a retrospective analysis of polio incidence in Pakistan and Afghanistan and an independent review of progress made to eliminate polio from Afghanistan.

Dr. O'Reilly earned her PhD at Warwick University. She was a post-doc at the University of Glasgow from 2007-2009 at the Boyd Orr Centre.

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