Dr Tamsyn Derrick & Professor Martin Holland

Tamsyn trained as an immunologist in the Clinical Research Department at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). After completing an undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Bristol in 2010, she studied for a Masters in Immunology of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM. Following this Tamsyn joined the trachoma group at LSHTM to investigate immunofibrogenic host responses to ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection, completing her PhD in 2016. She then spent four years as a post-doctoral research fellow based at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, Tanzania, researching the epidemiology, immunology and control of infectious eye diseases. In 2019, Tamsyn left LSHTM and she now works for the Medical Research Council.

Martin’s research interest focuses on understanding how immune responses in trachoma lead to conjunctival fibrosis, the characterisation of immune responses to potential C. trachomatis vaccine candidates and trachoma control strategies. His research applies genomic scale studies to trachoma examining the host conjunctival transcriptome by microarray, RNAseq and high through put quantitative RTPCR. We have also studied the ocular microbiome using 16S-amplicon sequencing, the global anti-Ct antibody repertoire, and host genetic susceptibility by GWAS and candidate gene association studies. A key interest is pathogen virulence and clinical severity. More recently his research has focused on evidence of the impact of azithromycin on population antibiotic resistance in C. trachomatis, other off target bacterial species and the effect on the ocular and gut microbiomes following implementation of SAFE.
Martin was previously based at the Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia and worked on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Partnership for the Rapid Elimination of Trachoma (PRET) and Wellcome Trust funded studies on the correlates and immunopathogenesis of trachoma. Our current work in trachoma control, immunology and diagnostics continues through collaborations with the MRC Unit in The Gambia, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and with members of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine staff and country partners in Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia.