Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Martin is a Senior Lecturer in Epidmiology in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences. He is a member of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health group (see Google Scholar page here), the Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases and the London Centre for Negleted Tropical Disease Research. Martin holds an Honorary Senior Lecturership in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London and is Subject Editor, Helminths and helminthic diseases for Parasites & Vectors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and of the Higher Education Academy.
Martin has an MA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, an MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Imperial College London. Before joining the Royal Veterinary College, Martin worked at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. There, he developed infectious disease transmission models to inform public health decision making on intervention strategies aiming to eliminate human helminthiases and statistical approaches to identifying atypical drug responses indicative of emerging anthelminthic resistance.
Martin leads a research group focused on combining mathematical and statistical modelling techniques with epidemiological and clinical data to support the control and elimination of neglected tropical, zoonotic and parasitic diseases. Martin's research programme is driven by the needs of the global health community, supporting efforts to meet the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO 2030 road map on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Working with field epidemiologists, immunologists, clinicians and public health policy makers, Martin is at the forefront of modelling and data-driven approaches to inform policy decision-making. Martin's research projects are organised into two complementary themes: (i) mathematical modelling—including transmission dynamics and statistical modelling—to support disease elimination programmes, and (ii) development of data sharing and reuse platforms to maiximse the power of epidemiological and clinical data.
Modelling to support disease elimination programmes. As Co-Principal Investigator on the NTD Modelling Consortium (https://www.ntdmodelling.org) and the FibroScHot Consortium (www.fibroschot.org), much of Martin's research focuses on the development and use of transmission dynamics models to inform intervention strategies targeting elimination of NTDs, with particular focus on lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs). These research projects involve modelling the feasibility of elimination under different intervention strategies, with particularl emphasis on the propagation of uncertainty into policy-relevant projections. Martin also collaborates with the not-for-profit pharmaceuticals Drugs for Neglected Disease inititaive (DNDi, www.dndi.org) and Medicines Development for Global Health (MDHG, www.medicinesdevelopment.com) using modelling to optimize the design of clinical trials, refine target product profiles and guide investment decision making on new drugs. Martin contributed modelling projections to the successfull submission to the United States Food and Drug Adminstration for the approval of moxidectin to treat human onchocerciasis (for a press release click here).
Data sharing and reuse platforms. Martin has worked since 2017 as a Co-Investigator on the NTD portfolio of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO, www.iddo.org), leading the development of data sharing and reuse platforms for lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs). These platforms collate, curate, standardize and facilitate the reuse of longitudinal individual participant data in a fair and equitable manner. These data are essential for robust inference and monitoring of NTD drug efficacy and are extremely powerful for the parameterisation and refinement of transmission dynamics models, which have traditionally relied on cross-sectional epidemiological data. The online portal for contibuting to the schistosomiasis and STHs data platform is here.
For a complete list of my publications see my Google Scholar page
Selected recent publications
Walker M, Lambert S, Neves MI, Worsley AD, Traub R, Colella V. Modelling the effectiveness of One Health interventions against the zoonotic hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum. Frontiers in Medicine 2023. in press.
Holt HR, Walker M, Beavais W, Kaur P, Bedi JS, Mangtani P, Sharma NS, Gill JPS, Godfroid J, McGiven JA, Guitian J. Modelling the control of bovine brucellosis in India. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 2023. in press.
Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M. Is the incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis declining? Trends in Parasitology. 2022. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2022.10.003
Dixon MA, Winskill P, Harrison WE, Whittaker C, Schmidt V, Sánchez ACF, Cucunuba ZM, Edia-Asuke AU, Walker M, Basáñez MG. Global variation in force-of-infection trends for human Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis. Elife. 2022; 11: 76988. doi: 10.7554/eLife.76988
Diaz AV, Lambert S, Neves MI, Borlase A, Léger E, Diouf ND, Sène M, Webster JP, Walker M. Modelling livestock test-and-treat: a novel One Health strategy to control schistosomiasis and mitigate drug resistance. Frontiers in Tropical Diseases. 2022; 3:893066. doi: 10.3389/fitd.2022.893066
Walker M, Freitas LT, Halder JB, Brack M, Keiser J, King CH, Levecke B, Lim YAL, Pieri O, Sow D, Stothard JR, Webster JP, Zhou XN, Terry RF, Guérin PJ, Basáñez MG. Improving anthelmintic treatment for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases through sharing and reuse of individual participant data. Wellcome Open Research. 2022; 7:5. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17468.1
Guest C, Dewhirst SY, Lindsay SW, Allen DJ, Aziz S, Baerenbold O, Bradley J, Chabildas U, Chen-Hussey V, Clifford S, Cottis L, Dennehy J, Foley E, Gezan SA, Gibson T, Greaves CK, Kleinschmidt I, Lambert S, Last A, Morant S, Parker JEA, Pickett J, Quilty BJ, Rooney A, Shah M, Somerville M, Squires C, Walker M, Logan JG, COVID Dogs Research Team. Using trained dogs and organic semi-conducting sensors to identify asymptomatic and mild SARS-CoV-2 infections: an observational study. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2022; 29:taac043. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taac043
Galipó E, Dixon MA, Fronterrè C, Cucunubá ZM, Basáñez MG, Stevens K, Sánchez ACF, Walker M. Spatial distribution and risk factors of human cysticercosis in Colombia. Parasites & Vectors. 2021; 14:590. doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-05092-8
Díaz A, Walker M, Webster JP. Surveillance and control of SARS-CoV-2 in mustelids: an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Applications. 2021; 00:1-11. doi: 10.1111/eva.13310
Walker M, Cools P, Albonico M, Ame SM, Ayana M, Dana D, Keiser J, Matoso LF, Montresor A, Mekonnen Z, Corrêa-Oliveira R, Pinto SA, Sayasone S, Vercruysse J, Vlaminck J, Levecke B. Individual responses to a single oral dose of albendazole indicate reduced efficacy against soil-transmitted helminths in an area with high drug pressure. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009888
Walker M, Hamley JID, Milton P, Monnot F, Kinrade S, Specht S, Pedrique B, Basáñez MG. Supporting drug development for neglected tropical diseases using mathematical modelling. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021; 73: e1391-e1396. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab350
Neves MI, Gower CM, Webster JP, Walker M. Revisiting density-dependent fecundity in schistosomes using sibship reconstruction. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2021; 15: e0009396. doi: 0.1371/journal.pntd.0009396
Stolk WA, Blok DJ, Hamley JID, Cantey PT, de Vlas SJ, Walker M, Basáñez M-G. Scaling-down mass ivermectin treatment for onchocerciasis elimination: modelling the impact of the geographical unit for decision making. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021; 72: S165-S171. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab238
Coffeng LE, Levecke B, Hattemdorf J, Walker M, Denwood MJ. Survey design to monitor drug efficacy for the control of soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021; 72: S195-S202. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab196
Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M. Toxoplasma gondii: an underestimated threat? Trends in Parasitology. 2020; 36(12): 959-969. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2020.08.005
Toor J, Adams ER, Aliee M, Amoah B, Anderson RM, Ayabina D, Bailey R, Basáñez M-G, Blok DJ, Blumberg S, Borlase A, Caja Rivera R, Castano MS, Chitnis N, Coffeng LE, Crump RE, Das A, Davis CN, Davis EL, Deiner MS, Diggle PJ, Fronterre C, Giardina F, Giorgi E, Graham M, Hamley JID, Huang CI, Kura K, Lietman TM, Lucas TCD, Malizia V, Medley GF, Meeyai A, Michael E, Porco TC, Prada JM, Rock KS, Le Rutte EA, Smith ME, Spencer SEF, Stolk WA, Touloupou P, Vasconcelos A, Vegvari C, de Vlas SJ, Walker M, Hollingsworth TD. Predicted impact of COVID-19 on neglected tropical disease programs and the opportunity for innovation. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020; 72(8): 1463-1466. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa933
Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M. Towards improving interventions against toxoplasmosis by identifying routes of transmission using sporozoite-specific serological tools. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020; 71(10): e686-e693. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa428
Dolo H, Coulibaly YI, Sow M, Dembélé M, Doumbia SS, Coulibaly SY, Sangare MB, Dicko I, Diallo AA, Soumaoro L, Coulibaly ME, Diarra D, Colebunders R, Nutman TB, Walker M, Basáñez M-G. Serological Evaluation of Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination in the Bakoye and Falémé foci, Mali. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa318.
Walker M, Hamley JID, Milton P, Monnet F, Pedrique B, Basáñez M-G. Designing antifilarial drug trials using clinical trial simulators. Nature Communications. 2020; 11(1): 1-11. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16442-y.
Hamley JI, Walker M, Coffeng LE, Milton P, de Vlas SJ, Stolk WA, Basáñez M-G. Structural Uncertainty in Onchocerciasis Transmission Models Influences the Estimation of Elimination Thresholds and Selection of Age Groups for Seromonitoring. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020; 221(S5): S510-S518. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiz674.
Behrend MR, Basáñez M-G, Hamley JI, Porco TC, Stolk WA, Walker M, de Vlas SJ. Modelling for policy: The five principles of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Modelling Consortium. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2020; 14(4): e0008033. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008033.
Deol AK, Fleming FM, Calvo-Urbano B, Walker M, Bucumi V, Gnandou I, Tukahebwa EM, Jemu S, Mwingira UJ, Alkohlani A, Traore M, Ruberanziza E, Toure S, Basáñez MG, French MD, Webster JP Schistosomiasis—Assessing Progress toward the 2020 and 2025 Global Goals. New England Journal of Medicine. 2019; 381(26): 2519-28. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1812165.
Martin teaches epidemiology, statistics and mathematical modelling across the range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the RVC. He leads the Introduction to One Health and Parasitology of Human and Veterinary Tropical Diseases modules for undergraduate Bioscience students and coordinates the Statistical Advisory Service for Veterinary Medicine research projects. Martin supervises all levels of undergraduate and posgraduate research projects.