Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers awardee
University of Liverpool
END-TB: enhancing TB control by mitigating catastrophic costs of TB-affected households
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers scheme we are pleased to feature case studies of past and present Starter Grant awardees. Dr Tom Wingfield was awarded a Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers in 2017. Here he explains how the award has helped him to develop his research independence, and highlights some of the main achievements of his research career so far.
Can you give us an overview of your research?
I am an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases. I completed medical training in Liverpool and have since worked as an infection physician and researcher in the UK, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and muddy fields at Glastonbury and Reading Festivals.
I am interested in characterising and addressing the social determinants of infectious diseases, with a special focus on tuberculosis (TB). Since 2010, I have worked with the Innovation For Health And Development team in 32 impoverished shantytown communities in north Lima, Peru, to improve equitable TB prevention and control. In addition, I am expanding my research further as a post-doctoral investigator to evaluate the best methods of delivering socioeconomic support to TB-affected households in diverse low-resource settings.
What has the impact of your Starter Grant been so far?
The Starter Grant has already allowed me to grow as an independent researcher, consolidate existing and new collaborations and to become involved in multiple diverse research proposals and studies (including in Mozambique and Vietnam). Specifically, it has helped me to develop a locally-appropriate socioeconomic support package for TB-affected households in Nepal with the IMPACT-TB team. Additional funding from a Wellcome Trust Seed Award has enabled me to implement two studies based on the groundwork done during the AMS Starter Grant. My Starter Grant has also allowed me to participate in the mentoring scheme and I have been lucky enough to be mentored by a researcher and policy maker who has been an inspiration to me for some years. Our regular meetings have been extremely useful not only with regards to expert advice on research design and methodology but also how to translate research into policy. Moreover, I have found these meetings a constant source of encouragement, especially related to my chosen career path of being an academic clinician with an interest in policy of poverty-related diseases.
What’s next for you and your research?
I hope to spend time developing my skills and knowledge of policy and decision-making through time at the World Health Organisation. In the long-term, I aim to continue in clinical and academic medicine, both of which I find interesting and fulfilling. I also hope my work continues to lead to equitable improvements in the health and wellbeing of people, especially those who are vulnerable, under-served and/or from low-income countries.
- Publications in PLOS Medicine (2014) and Lancet Infectious Diseases (2017)
- Co-winning Lancet and Academy of Medical Sciences Young Investigator of the Year Award 2017
- Working with the World Health Organisation as part of their Global Task Force on Catastrophic Costs of TB Patients and the international Social Protection Action Research and Knowledge Sharing (SPARKS) network