Palmer Masumbe Netongo is part of the network of excellence CANTAM (Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria).
His current research focuses on the interactions between malaria and co-infecting pathogens, particularly Epstein Barr Virus, Salmonella typhii and Schistosoma species. He seeks to understand the effect of gammaherpes viruses on suppression of anti-malarial humoral immunity and, how malaria predisposes mice to severe pneumococcal disease. Working on animals is a shift from his previous research on humans which sought to develop a saliva-based method of malaria detection of Plasmodium species. This work received grants from the Grand Challenge Canada and WHO/TDR. He has received other research support from the TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme and an ICGEB small grant. Through the Initiative to Strengthen Health Research Capacity in Africa (ISHReCA), he has been involved in capacity building for health researchers across Africa. He has accrued international experience in Project / Program Management and conference organisation/management through volunteering for this initiative. He works in close collaboration with many funders including the Wellcome Trust in the UK, WHO/TDR in Switzerland, European Commission headquarters in Belgium and DFG in Germany. As volunteer Executive Secretary of ISHReCA, he organized a series of discussions, which led to the establishment of a document on Ethics of Research partnership, to serve as a manifesto to guide young researchers as the engage in long-term fruitful research partnerships.
Professor Trudie Lang spent the first 12 years of her career in the pharmaceutical industry where she ran clinical trials from phase I through to phase IV in malaria, helminth infectious and diarrheal disease in Africa, Asia and South America. Trudie has worked within the varied settings of Industry, public private partnerships, the World Health Organisation, NGOs and academia where she has designed and operated clinical studies in highly varied international settings, particularly in low resource areas with vulnerable populations. Since returning from a post in Kenya, where she set up a clinical trials facility where the aim was to develop local research careers, Trudie is now focused on developing research capacity and improving research methods in developing countries, she devised and leads The Global Health Network (www.tghn.org). In 2013 the WHO stated that unless low income countries become the generators, rather than the recipients, of health research data there will never be a real improvement in the public health challenges that these countries face. The Global Health Network was cited in this same report as being an important agent for change in addressing this. The aim of TGHN is to enable evidence in situations where data is missing, and this is achieved in two ways. Firstly, by transferring know-how and exchanging knowledge between organisations, disease areas, regions and roles and secondly by guiding faster and improved research processes. This platform is working online and in the regions to improve and encourage clinical research in places, situations and places where research is lacking – such as in diseases of poverty and outbreaks.