Partner 3: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCOP)

Role, qualification and experience

The department serves as WHO/FAO Collaborating Centre for Emerging and Other Parasitic Zoonosis, and senior scientists from two divisions are allocated for the project: M. V. Johansen (DBL – Centre for Health Research and Development (DBL)), and A. L. Willingham & S. M. Thamsborg (Danish Centre for Experimental Parasitology (DCEP)). Our department has extensive experience with work in developing countries (particularly in Africa) and close links to African research institutions and universities, e.g. Makerere University, Muhimbili Medical College, Sokoine Agricultural University, University of Zambia and Eduardo Mondlane University. All scientists have specialist knowledge (>20 years) on aspects of applied and experimental parasitology with a focus on helminths in livestock, mainly zoonotic parasites. The team has extensive national and international teaching and research capacity building experience, e.g. DBL has for 10 years performed an annual course on advanced research methodology for overseas students, and DCEP runs a M.Sc. program on Parasitology and is partaking in a Marie Curie training network focusing on traditional medicine against helminths. In addition the DCEP/DBL team has facilitated the establishment of the Cysticercosis Working Group in Eastern and Southern Africa which has been promoting communication, collaboration and coordination of integrated research and control activities to combat cysticercosis in that region for more than 5 years. Our research covers a wide range from developing of diagnostic assays, assessing host responses, experimental infections to epidemiological investigations and control programs in developing countries with extensive international collaboration, e.g. EU-projects. The team is thus well equipped to carry out the planned investigations and has sufficient laboratories and human and technical resources. Over the last 15 years, >110 national and international (>25 African) Ph.D. students have graduated from DCEP/DBL and >300 papers were published in internationally refereed journals 2003-7. The team has long standing collaboration with teams 1, 2, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18, 19 and 22.

Scientific leader

S. M. Thamsborg (M), DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. EVPC, is professor in veterinary parasitology, director of DCEP. Co-ordinator EU-project WORMCOPS (2001-4). Expert on applied and experimental parasitology, alternative control and parasite population dynamics with >80 international papers.

Key personnel

M.V. Johansen (F), DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. EVPC, senior researcher with >20-years experience in parasitology and numerous publications (>80), mainly on development and validation of parasitological methods, host/parasite relationships, epidemiology and control of zoonotic helminths in livestock and man.
A. L. Willingham (M), DVM, Ph.D., associate professor with 20 years experience in parasitology and numerous publications (>50), mainly on epidemiology, impact and control of zoonotic helminths of both public health and agricultural importance in developing countries. Involved in coordination of helminth zoonoses research capacity building and networking in Africa and Asia for over 10 years.


University of Copenhagen, Denmark