Dr Susana Vaz da Silva de Castro Nery

MSc PhD
Research Fellow
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: +61 2 6125 0155

Areas of expertise

  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Epidemiology 111706

Research interests

My current interests are malaria and NTDs control and elimination in developing countries. Particularly I am interested in intervention studies that can inform health policy changes for more effective and sustainable disease control strategies.

I have recently been awarded a 3-year $1.4M NHMRC Project Grant (2018-2020) to investigate the impact of school vs community deworming strategies on intestinal worm infections in children. The randomized controlled trial will begin in 2018 in the Philippines. 

Biography

I have a multidisciplinary background, combining degrees and experience in biochemistry, neurosciences, health policy and international development, and field epidemiology.

I moved to Canberra in April 2015, after being based in Timor-Leste for almost 3 years. Prior to my affiliation with ANU I have also lived and worked in Angola, Mozambique, Kenya, The Gambia, and Tanzania. 

Originally trained as a molecular and cellular biologist, soon after a PhD in Neuroscience (at NYU Medical Centre, awarded in 2003), I began my career on tropical diseases initially becoming an expert in malaria molecular parasitology as a post doc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). While based in London, I did malaria research in top African research centres and initiatives: Kenya Medical Research Institute – Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KEMRI-WT, Kilifi, Kenya); Medical Research Council, The Gambia Unit; and the Joint Malaria Programme (based at KCMC – Moshi, Tanzania).

I have experience international development and aid, having worked with Malaria Consortium in Mozambique, specifically on monitoring and evaluation of aid programs, and health policy making and implementation.

Subsequently, in Angola, I was the scientific coordinator of a recently created health research centre (CISA Project): I supervised a team of up to 11 scientific staff, that included MDs and MSc candidates, and up to 40 field workers.  Furthermore, I established the necessary collaborations to set in motion a program covering several lines of research including infectious and non-communicable diseases.

 

 

Researcher's projects

Current Projects:

At ANU, I am currently overseeing a program of research being implemented in Timor-Leste, that includes STH control, dengue spatial epidemiology and drug prescription patterns:

1) WASH for WORMS – I am the scientific coordinator of a cluster randomised controlled trial (NHMRC APP1013713) looking at the impact of an integrated  WASH and mass albendazole distribution program on STH infections

Nested in the main trial are 2 cross-sectional studies that I lead: a) Zoonotic transmission of Ascaris and b) Assessment of the variation in environmental enteropathy.

2) (S)WASH for WORMS – I am the principal investigator of a pilot study comparing the impact of school vs community WASH (Gates Grand Challenges Explorations OPP1119041).

Other projects that I lead are:

3) Patterns of drug prescription at reference hospitals in Timor-Leste; and

4) Spatial analysis of dengue in Timor-Leste.

I am also an associate investigator in a trial assessing the impact of a sanitation intervention on infection with intestinal worms in Indonesia (APP APP1077138), led by Prof. Darren Gray.

In Angola (CISA Project), I am a chief investigator of a study looking at the etiology of diarrhea in children attending hospital and of a study looking at the impact of the distribution of albendazol, bednets and praziquantel on anemia in school aged children.

 

Current student projects

Naomi Clarke, RSPH-ANU PhD program, started in March 2015. “Should integrated deworming and WASH programs for soil-transmitted helminth control in Timor-Leste be delivered in schools or the community?”

Manuel Lemos, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal, started in 2012. “Community vs school based chemotherapy for the control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths in children in rural Angola”

Rebecca Wardell, Population Health Honours - ANU, 2015. "Spatial analysis of STH infetions in the context of the WASH for WORMS trial"

Tai Du, Medical Student enrolled at ANU (2014/2015).  "Environmental contributors to infections with dengue, using a Timorese national dataset on dengue cases"

Kiran Varna (MSc student, University of Queensland, Masters in Public Health, started February 2014, half-time). "Patterns of drug prescription at reference hospitals in Timor-Leste"

Emma Zalcman (MSc, University of Sydney, Masters in Veterinary Public Health.started February 2014, half-time) "Zoonotic transmission of Ascaris species between pigs and humans in the WASH for WORMS communities"

 

Publications

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Updated:  21 September 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers