Barrett Centre for Helminth Control (BCHC)
Director: Professor Karl Hoffmann
Institutes: IBERS, IMPACS
As part of a globally responsive Wales, the BCHC will provide urgently needed solutions for the control of parasitic worms causing significant human, animal and plant diseases.
The sustainable control of parasitic worms causing agricultural-, veterinary- and biomedical diseases will increasingly rely on the development of more sensitive diagnostics/biomarkers, prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic drugs. This view has gathered significant momentum and has recently been acknowledged by the UK government (£1B Ross fund for supporting the global fight against infectious diseases), the World Health Organisation (roadmap for eliminating neglected tropical diseases - NTDs) and public-private partnerships (the London Declaration on NTDs). Within AU, an internationally recognised group of PIs (led by IBERS with critical input from IMPACS) has collaboratively embraced this challenge and begun developing innovative approaches for combating worm diseases of animals and humans. The formation of an IRC in helminth controlwill centralise these activities and lead to: 1) focusing international attention in this area onto AU, 2) attracting new investigators/research fellows into AU interested in helminth control, 3) developing new ways of working across disciplines (within and outside HEIs), 4) increasing success of research grant applications, 5) recruitment and training the next generation of UG/PG students in helminth control as part of curriculum embedded in existing/proposed modules/schemes/degrees or Schools (e.g. Veterinary School) and 6) widening the diversity of industrial, governmental, charitable and commercial engagement with AU, which will additionally support the evolution of the Innovation and Enterprise Campus. The formation of an AU interdisciplinary research centre in helminth control will grow the internationalisation of our collaborative activities and bring them to bear on some of the most difficult to treat infectious diseases on our planet.