Professor Joanne P. Webster is the Royal Veterinary College’s Chair in Parasitic Diseases, Director of the Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED) and Associate Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research (LCNTDR). Joanne also holds a Hon. Professorial Chair at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine, Hon. Senior Research Fellowship at the NHM, London and Hon. Professorial Chair at Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases, China. She is an Expert Advisor on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Schistosomiasis Guideline Development Group (GDG) and their Global Working Group on Monitoring of Drug Efficacy, amongst others. Joanne is also on the Management Board of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) and Research working group of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA).
After gaining a double First class B.Sc. hons, Joanne’s D.Phil at the University of Oxford examined the epidemiology of zoonotic disease, during which she also developed a novel line of research focusing on the impact of Toxoplasma gondii on host behaviour and its association with chronic disease in both humans and animals. After a year working as a Clinical Scientist at the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC), specialising in congenital syphilis amongst babies born in the UK, she returned to Oxford as a postdoctoral fellow, EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and as a Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF). During this period she expanded the scope of her work to encompass global health and tropical field research and disease control across much of Africa and Asia. Joanne accepted a Readership at Imperial College’s Faculty of Medicine in 2003 and was promoted to a tenured Professorial Chair in Parasitic Diseases in 2006. The key motivation for this move was the unique opportunity to be co-Director of the then newly formed SCI. During this period (2003-2014), these activities provided approximately 300 million chemotherapeutic treatments for children and at-risk adults across sub Saharan Africa, and SCI was listed as the top UK charity by ‘Giving what we can’ and in the top two International charities by ‘Give Well’. In October 2014 Joanne joined the Royal Veterinary College to further expand her One Health research and disease control.
Joanne’s research activities have been awarded a number of high profile Prizes, Medals and recognitions (e.g. CA Wright medal (2005) for Outstanding Contribution to Parasitology; National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in research NC3Rs prize (2007); Queen’s Anniversary Prize and Medal for International Public Health Impact (2008); Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/Elsevier citation prize (2009); Chalmers Memorial Medal (2013) to recognise Outstanding Contribution to Tropical Medicine; Finalist BBSRC Innovator of the Year for International Impact (2018); and she was included in International Woman’s Day List of ‘Five Inspirational Women Shaping the Future of International Development’ (2019). Joanne has published over 180 peer-reviewed publications (@ October 2020 H factor=58) and serves on the advisory boards of a number of International journals and funding bodies.