Dr. Melanie Newport
Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Melanie Newport is Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She graduated with distinction from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, and trained in clinical infectious diseases – she has been a consultant physician since 2003. In parallel to her clinical training, she got her Ph.D. in 1996, investigating single gene defects that predispose to mycobacterial infection and did post-doctoral research at the MRC laboratories in The Gambia where she led a research group working on genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis. With colleagues in The Gambia, Melanie developed the use of neonatal BCG vaccination as a model for investigating immune responses to mycobacterial infection. She has conducted genome wide linkage and association studies in these populations. More recently, Melanie has extended her genetics research to non-communicable diseases in tropical countries. She is a collaborator on a programme of research based in Ethiopia investigating the genetic basis of podoconiosis (non-filarial elephantiasis), a neglected tropical geochemical disease that contributes to significant morbidity and poverty in affected populations. A genome wide association study has identified a major susceptibility locus for this disease and studies are being extended into other populations and other diseases where lymphoedema underpins pathology. Melanie is the founding secretary of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG) and Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.