Darwin Lecture – Global De-Worming: A Darwinian Perspective

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
Organiser: events@linnean.org
+44 (0)20 7434 4479 EXT 11


18:00–19:00 Thursday 3 November 2016

In association with the Royal Society of Medicine.


Darwin had a fascination for worms but would have been largely unaware of the parasitic worms that are responsible for so many of todays Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). With over 1 billion people infected globally, particularly in resource poor settings, the NTDs are responsible for considerable human suffering. The complex biology of many parasites, often involving various vectors and hosts, together with their inherent genetic diversity and long evolutionary history make parasites formidable foes. Efforts to control and even eliminate some infections have been stepped up after the London Declaration on NTDs in 2012 but many significant challenges lay ahead. Climate and environmental change, migration of people, invasion of vectors, loss of biodiversity, and emerging drug resistance, threaten to change the disease landscape and often there are insufficient resources for treatment of people in most need. The lecture will highlight the current progress in the control of schistosomiasis, guinea worm and other worm infections in different parts of Africa and delve more deeply into aspects of parasite life cycles that make them so difficult to control. In the arms race between hosts and parasites – is there likely to be a winner?

Professor David Rollinson FLS is a Merit Research Scientist at the Natural History Museum London, and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre. He is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases (Schistosomiasis) and co-chairs the Research Working Group of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance. David’s research goal is to work towards a better synthesis and understanding of host parasite interactions, especially of the schistosome-snail model, and to contribute to efforts to control and eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) across Africa.

Tea will be served in the Library from 17:30 and the event will be followed by a wine reception. 

Registration for this event is now CLOSED.

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