Dr Louise Ford

LITE Programme Officer/Study Director

Louise’s interests are focused on product discovery and development for tropical diseases, particularly neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria.

Louise graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology (University of Leeds) and a MSc in Applied Parasitology and Medical Entomology (University of Liverpool). She began her research career as a research assistant at the University of Durham, after which she joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine completing a PhD on the role of Wolbachia in the immune response to filariasis.  Louise then moved to the New York Blood Center to work as a post-doctoral research fellow with Dr Sara Lustigman to identify potential filarial drug and vaccine candidates.

In 2007 Louise rejoined LSTM where she worked for over 10 years on the Anti-Wolbachia (A·WOL) Drug Discovery & Development Programme, headed by Prof Mark Taylor and funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This was followed by a 1-year post within LSTMs Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics Research managing projects working on diagnostics for Visceral Leishmaniasis in the Indian Sub-Continent.

Louise joined LITE (Liverpool Insect Testing Establishment), a client-based facility which rears multiple strains of mosquitoes (susceptible & resistant) and performs bioassays to evaluate the sensitivity to insecticides and novel chemistries, in 2019. As a study director she is responsible for insectary management & bioassay testing.

Louise has a wide-range of expertise in laboratory-based research, scientific communication, teaching, public engagement (STEM ambassador), and project management. She is an author on 35 peer-reviewed publications, 2 book chapters, and 1 patent.

Selected publications

  • Selected Publications

    Turner JD, Tendongfor N, Esum M, Johnston KL, Langley RS, Ford L, Faragher B, Specht S, Mand S, Hoerauf A, Enyong P, Wanji S and Taylor MJ (2010). Macrofilaricidal activity after doxycycline only treatment of Onchocerca volvulus in an area of Loa loa co-endemicity: a randomized controlled trial. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4: e660.

    Turner JD, Langley RS, Johnston KL, Gentil K, Ford L, Wu B, Graham M, Sharpley F, Slatko B, Pearlman E and Taylor MJ (2009).  Wolbachia lipoprotein stimulates innate and adaptive immunity through Toll-like receptors 2 and 6 to induce disease manifestations of filariasis.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 284: 22364-22378.

    Ford L, Zhang J, Liu J, Hashmi S, Fuhrman JA, Oksov Y and Lustigman S (2009). Functional analysis of the Cathepsin-like cysteine protease genes in adult Brugia malayi using RNA interference. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 3: e377.

    Foster J, Kumar S, Ford L, Johnston KL, Ben R, Graeff-Teixeira C and Taylor MJ (2008). Absence of Wolbachiaendobacteria in the non-filariid nematodes Angiostrongylus cantonensis and A. costaricensisParasites and Vectors1: 31.

    Lustigman S, Ford L and Crawford MJ (2008). RNA Interference: From functional genomics to validation of drug targets in helminths. In RNA Interference Research Progress, RT Lyland and IB Browning, eds. (Nova Science Publishers, Inc), pp 135-162.

    Ford L, Lobo CA, Rodriguez M, Zalis MG, Machado RLD, Rossit ARB, Cavasini CE, Couto AAR, Enyong PA and Lustigman S (2007). Differential antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum invasion ligand proteins in individuals living in malaria-endemic areas in Brazil and Cameroon. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 77: 977-983.

    Ford L, Guiliano DB, Oksov Y, Debnath AK, Liu J, Williams SA, Blaxter ML and Lustigman S (2005). Characterization of a novel filarial serine protease inhibitor, Ov-SPI-1, from Onchocerca volvulus, with potential multifunctional roles during development of the parasite.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 280: 40845-40856.

    Down RE, Ford L, Woodhouse SD, Davison GM, Majerus MEN, Gatehouse JA and Gatehouse AMR. (2003). Tritrophic interactions between transgenic potato expressing snowdrop lectin (GNA), an aphid pest (peach-potato aphid; Myzus persicae(Sulz.)) and a beneficial predator (2-spot ladybird; Adalia bipunctata L.) Transgenic Research12: 229-241.

    Saint Andre A, Blackwell NM, Hall LR, Hoerauf A, Brattig NW, Volkmann L, Taylor MJ, Ford L, Hise AG, Lass JH, Diaconu E and Pearlman E (2002). The role of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria in the pathogenesis of river blindness Science 295: 1892-1895.

    Taylor MJ, Cross HF, Ford L, Makunde WH, Prasad GB and Bilo K (2001). Wolbachia bacteria in filarial immunity and disease Parasite Immunology 23: 401-409.