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Goylette Chami

MPhil PhD

Associate Professor, Robertson Fellow

I am an infectious disease epidemiologist in the Big Data Institute (BDI) within the Nuffield Department of Population Health. I lead an interdisciplinary research group of health data scientists, epidemiologists, spatial modellers, and clinicians. Our research seeks to understand transmission, treatment, and morbidity related to schistosomiasis.

An estimated 700 million of the world’s poorest individuals live in geographic areas that are endemic with schistosomiasis; 90% of individuals at-risk live in sub-Saharan Africa. Schistosomiasis is a complex set of conditions caused by a parasitic blood fluke. In the case of intestinal schistosomiasis, infections may lead to periportal fibrosis, portal hypertension, spleen enlargement, chronic gut inflammation, diarrhoea, anaemia, and malnutrition among other morbidities. My team works on the prevention, treatment, and management of schistosomiasis as well as its progression and interactions with other endemic infections.

Our research requires large-scale primary data collection including observational studies and prospective cohorts with an outlook towards randomised-controlled trials. In close collaboration with the Uganda Ministry of Health, I lead the Oxford-Uganda Collaboration on Schistosomiasis. In Western and Eastern Uganda, we have a community-based, prospective human participant cohort ongoing in the context of Schistosoma mansoni. Current areas of research include granular evaluation of schistosome exposure and transmission with spatial evaluation, assessment of gut and liver multimorbidities within and across individuals, identification of the clinical and social consequences of coinfections, and integration of schistosomiasis management into primary health care centres. To address the complexity of these research areas, we combine methods from epidemiology and parasitology with network science, applied statistics, and machine learning.

My research programme contributes directly to global health policies at national (UK, Uganda) and international (WHO, African Union) levels. I am a member of the WHO Diagnostics and Technical Advisory Group for neglected tropical diseases within the cross-cutting disease subtheme. In 2021, I was awarded the Odile Bain Memorial Prize for contributions to medical parasitology. Before joining Oxford, I completed an MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge and held a Junior Research Fellowship in Medical Sciences at King’s College Cambridge. 

Please feel free to email me about DPhil or postdoctoral opportunities.