Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Mark Booth

Senior Lecturer

Background

I graduated from Imperial College, London, with a BSc Hons in Zoology and stayed on to complete a PhD in Biology focusing on the epidemiology of parasitic infections in developing countries, mainly in Africa. My interest in parasitology continued at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Cambridge University and then Durham University. At Durham I was full-time Deputy Director of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing from 2008-13, before moving full-time into the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health (SMPH). I am currently Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, having been transferred in 2017 after the closure of SMPH.

I am also interested in the role that low-carbon developments may play in preventing morbidity and mortality in populations exposed to infectious diseases. Within this domain I am advisor to two projects aiming to use renewable energy to supply electricity into low-energy buildings in Africa.


Magazine and Opinion Articles


Current Advisory Roles

  • Member, WHO steering committee, DFID-funded project on supplying energy to health centres in Uganda and Ghana. (2016- )
  • Member, Advisory Board, ‘Health Interventions in Volcanic Emergencies (HIVE)’ project (PI Dr Claire Horwell, Earth Sciences, funded by ELRHA
  • Advisor, Universal Sustainable Habitat Development (USHD)

 

Academic memberships

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Royal African Society, and a long-standing member and supporter of the British Society for Parasitology.

Other memberships include

  • Executive Committee, International Society of Geospatial Health (www.gnosisgis.org/)
  • Anthro-zoonoses network (2016 - )
  • NTD modelling consortium (2014 - )
  • Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (2012 - )


Current academic journal affiliations

  • Member, Editorial Board, Geospatial Health
  • Associate Editor, PLoS NTDs
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Helminthology


Social Media

@drmarkbooth




Research

My research is primarily focused on revealing cryptic knowledge contained within the life-cycles of the so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases - a collection of infectious diseases affecting billions of people living in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

I take an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach that has previously combined information from genetics, ecology, geography, ethnography and immunology to yield novel inferences.  A long-term interest is furthering our understanding of the role of environmental change in affecting transmission and health impact of parasitic infections, particularly helminths, over different spatio-temporal scales. This has most recently resulted in new inferences regarding the potential of climate change to affect the life-cycle of Schistosoma mansoni in East Africa.

I have also worked collaboratively on a range of inter-disciplinary projects outside my core area, to demonstrate the added-value of deploying transferable skills.

A full list of research publications is available here


Grant-funded project history (most recent first)

2015 Co-I on 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission' Funder  - British Ecological Society. Completion date: 2015. Description: multi-disciplinary workshop to explore gaps in knowledge regarding parasite transmission

2015 PI on ‘The Personal Management of Diabetes Survey (PMODs)’. Funder – N8 consortium. Completion date: Nov 2016. Description: a pilot study of obstacles to sustainable self-management of Type I and Type II diabetes sufferers in the UK.

2015 Co-I on Public engagement project ‘Going Viral’ Funder: Wellcome Trust Arts. Collaborator(s): Mr Daniel Bye. Completion date: Aug 2015. Description: A play written by Daniel Bye with myself as scientific advisor to explore issues around a rapidly spreading epidemic.

2013 Co-I on ‘Evaluating workplace-health interventions’. Funder: North East Public Health. Collaborator(s): Prof Clare Bambra. Completion date: 2013. Description: survey of organisations participating in schemes to reduce sickness-absence within the workforce.

2012 Co-I on ‘QSTAR: Gene expression assisted compound chemistry’ Funder: Janssen Pharmaceutical Belgium. Value: £150K (£163K). Collaborators: QSTAR consortium. Completion date: Dec 2015. Description: measuring the transcriptional effects of >700 compounds on 8 specific drug targets. QSTAR membership list: http://www.rsc.org/suppdata/mb/c4/c4mb00328d/c4mb00328d1.pdf

2012 PI on ‘Technology and Ageing workshop’. Funder: N8 consortium (Industry Innovation Forum funding) Value: £10K (£11K). Completion date: 2012. Description. Seed-fund to support inter-sectoral collaborations on ageing and health.

2012 PI on ‘Personalised Medicine workshop’. Funder: N8 (Stage 1 Industry Innovation funding). Value: £10K (£11K). Completion date: 2013. Description. Seed-funding to support inter-sectoral collaborations on personalised medicine. Led to PMODs project.

2011 Co-PI on ‘Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa (Healthy Futures)’. Collaborator(s): Healthy Futures consortium. Funder: EU FP7. Value: €3.4m (£4m). Completion date: Dec 2014. Description: agent-based modelling of climate-sensitive stages of schistosomiasis, incorporated into spatially down-scaled climate change projections for East Africa. Project summary available at www.healthyfutures.eu

2011 PI on ‘McCrumble’s ethical dilemma’ Funder: Beacon North East. Collaborators: Stockton Council. Completion date: 2012. Description: public engagement project to raise awareness of parasitology amongst school children.

2011 PI on ‘N8 Parasitology Network’. Funder: N8 consortium. Collaborators: > 40 Parasitologists from all N8 Universities. Completion date: 2013. Description: network created to foster collaborative activities amongst parasitologists, including small grant scheme.

2010 PI on ‘Evaluating Gateshead Public Health’. Funder: Gateshead PCT.  Description: community members trained to undertake surveys on public perceptions of public health facilities and interventions in Gateshead.

2009 Co-I on ‘Evaluating the County Durham Worklessness and Health Support Programme’. Collaborator(s): Prof. Clare Bambra, (Durham). Funder: County Durham and Darlington PCT. Completion date: Dec 2012. Description: Longitudinal study of how case-management of long-term unemployed individuals could improve well-being and mental health.

2009 PI on ‘Ageing and Health Theme’. Funder: NE Beacon for Public Engagement. Description: public engagement activities on the theme of ageing and health, including mini-conferences, seminars.

2009 PI on ‘Evaluation of Easington Dental Health’. Funder: County Durham & Darlington PCT. Completion date: Oct 2009. Description: evaluating community perceptions of dental services.

2005 Co-I on ‘Multi-disciplinary studies of human schistosomiasis in Uganda, Kenya and Mali: New perspectives on morbidity, immunity, treatment and control (MUSTSCHIST UKEMA)’Collaborator(s); MUSTSCHIST UKEMA consortium. Funder: EU FP6. Value: €1.5m (£2m). Completion date: Aug 2009. Description: longitudinal studies of the effects of single and repeated treatments on re-infection by schistosomiasis.

2004 Co-I on “'Effects of schistosomiasis malaria co-infection on hepatosplenomegaly amongst Kenyan school children”. Collaborator(s): Prof David Dunne, (Cambridge). Funder: Wellcome Trust (Programme Grant). Value: (£540K £763K): Completion date: May 2008. Description: Field studies in rural Kenya considering how residential situation affects exposure and impact of co-infections.

1994 PI on ‘Estimating the public health impact of parasitic infections using attributable risk methodology’. Funder Wellcome Trust (Travel Fellowship). Completion date: Aug 1998. Value £200K (£366K). Collaborator(s): Prof Marcel Tanner, Prof Tom Smith (Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland). Description: application of epidemiological statistics developed for non-communicable disease to cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of parasitic infections.

1990 PI on PhD studentship. Funder: SERC CASE award (Smith Kline Beecham). Value: ~£25K (£51K). Collaborators: Prof Don Bundy. Completion date: Oct 1993. Description: desk-based and field-based studies on the epidemiology of geohelminth infections.



Teaching

I have taught and assessed at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels throughout my career. Current responsibilities include

External Examiner, Control of Infectious Diseases MSc, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

External Examiner, Tropical Disease Biology BSc (Hons), Liverpool University

Lecturer, Control of Infectious Diseases MSc, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Lecturer, Newcastle University, MBBS Global Health Student Selected Component. 



Publications