Published: 08 Mar 2022 | Last Updated: 11 May 2022 12:24:23

Professor Joanne Webster, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)’s Chair of Parasitic Diseases, has this week been announced as the new Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research (LCNTDR).

LCNTDR is an innovative research centre which brings together leading global experts to aid the design, implementation and evaluation of neglected tropical disease prevention, control and elimination programmes. The Centre undertakes cutting edge research with the aim of tackling diseases which affect the lives of more than 1.7 billion of the poorest people across the world.

Professor Webster will take on this new Directorship role in addition to her work at the RVC, and beyond. This appointment will also further strengthen the RVC’s links with the LCNTDR, of which it is a founding partner. Importantly, it will further expand both organisations’ focus on International One Health, which recognises the relationship between health and disease at the human, animal and environment interfaces - an increasingly important priority in both medical and veterinary science in which Professor Webster specialises.

Alongside these positions, Professor Webster holds a Professorial Chair in Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine and the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Disease, China (hon), is a Senior Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, is on the Board of Directors of Fauna, Flora International, and sits on a number of World Health Organization (WHO) working groups.

Having acted as Associate Director of the LCNTDR since its launch in 2013, Professor Webster succeeds the Directorship from Professor Sir Roy Anderson. Her tenure in the position will begin formally at the LCNTDR’s anniversary celebration event to be held on 31st March 2022 at the RVC’s Camden campus.

Professor Joanne Webster, Chair of Parasitic Disease and newly appointed Director of the Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research, said:

“I’m thrilled and extremely honoured to be taking over from Professor Sir Roy Anderson as Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research. It has been my privilege, as an Associate Director, to be part of this innovative partnership of internationally leading institutions, under the outstanding Directorship of Sir Roy and his core team based at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine, from its inauguration. 

“We have already witnessed real evidence-based impact that has informed policy, practice and improved the effectiveness and outcomes of disease control and elimination programmes globally, particularly within the poorest parts of the world.

“In my new role as Director, I very much look forward to promoting the continuation and expansion of cutting-edge activities, across an even broader range of international partners and programmes, to facilitate further improvements in our understanding and treatment of these devastating diseases of both humans and animals.”

Professor Sir Roy Anderson, said:

“I am delighted to share that Professor Joanne Webster will take over as the Director of the Centre. Joanne has made huge contributions to the Centre and her research has increased understanding of the biology, evolution, epidemiology and control of NTDs, especially the schistosome infections.

She has conducted pioneering work on Toxoplasma and its impact on various host species and her work on defining the importance of animal reservoirs via molecular epidemiological studies of the human and animal schistosome species has been instrumental in shifting much greater attention to the ‘One Health’ aspects of NTD control.”

Notes to Editors

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London. It was the first in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in line with the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2021.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.  
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research led institution with 79% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

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