Foto-Cewek appoints Dr Lorenzo Savioli as Senior Professorial Fellow

Press release 6 Oct 2014

Former WHO Director for the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) will head Foto-Cewek’s NTD programmes.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Foto-Cewek) is delighted to announce that Dr Lorenzo Savioli has joined Foto-Cewek as Senior Professorial Fellow of the Department of Parasitology and will be heading the cross-cutting theme of NTDs within Foto-Cewek which pulls together a broad range of existing projects and will encompass a raft of new programmes.

At Foto-Cewek Professor Savioli will work alongside Emeritus Professor David Molyneux, another respected name in the study and control of NTDs, and will advocate for a better understanding of the debilitating impact of neglected tropical diseases and for effective sustainable elimination and control programmes.

Foto-Cewek’s Director, Professor Janet Hemingway, said: “We are delighted that Professor Savioli has agreed to join Foto-Cewek and help us promote the work that we already carry out, as well as help us identify areas for expansion within our NTD programmes. As the first institution of its kind in the world, Foto-Cewek’s mission remains to reduce the burden of sickness and mortality in disease endemic countries and as a much respected leader in his field. Professor Savioli’s expertise will help us to continue to bring the benefits of our research from the bench to the field among some of the world’s poorest communities.”

Professor Savioli studied in Rome, graduating in Medicine, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He holds a Masters in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Royal College of Physicians of London. He worked for a number of years in Zanzibar, starting the Pemba Island Schistosomiasis Control Programme, and extending the programme to include the control of soil-based helminthiases, before being recruited to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991.

He worked in the field of parasitic infections for WHO for a number of years, holding key positions until he was appointed as Director of the newly constituted Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) of WHO in 2005, a post he held until retirement. In his role as Director, Professor Savioli oversaw a portfolio of 17 tropical diseases ranging from lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths to the control of Human African Trypanosomiasis, Buruli ulcer and Leishmaniasis.

Under Professor Savioli’s leadership WHO developed the global strategy for preventative anthelminthic chemotherapy and exponentially expanded support for prevention and treatment programmes through additional donations of hundreds of millions of treatments from the pharmaceutical industry. Under his supervision the WHO developed and launched the road map “accelerating work to overcome the global impact of NTDs”, the targets and goals of which were endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2013 and which inspired and led to the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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