Durham University (UDUR) is a world-class university in two locations: in the city of Durham, UK, and at the Queen's Campus in Stockton. The University is collegiate. Its academic teaching and research programmes are delivered through 25 departments contained within three faculties: Arts and Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences and Health. Over 15,000 students are registered at the University (of whom 3,500 are postgraduates and over 3,000 international students from over 120 countries), and there are over 3000 staff. The University has an annual turnover of 160 million.
Wolfson Research Institute (WRI) is a major interdisciplinary unit within Durham University that fosters research on human health and wellbeing in both developed and developing countries. The WRI seeks to understand the determinants of health and wellbeing, and to improve health and the quality of people’s lives by contributing to public policy, professional practice and the development of new products and tools. Following the establishment of the University’s Health Strategy Board in 2005, the WRI became its Research Division. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the scope of the Institute's activities as further major research groups on the Durham campus came within its remit. These groups were mainly in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. There are now around 150 research and research support staff and 100 post graduates working within the framework of the WRI.
Mark Booth is Associate Director of the WRI. He has a background in epidemiology as applied to parasitology. This is an inherently interdisciplinary approach that combines fieldwork (mainly in sub-Saharan Africa) with data analysis, drawing upon numerous collaborative inputs to yield inferences that would remain otherwise cryptic. A typical study might involve immunology, parasitology, ecology and genetics with the aim of comprehensively understanding pathways to disease. Whilst maintaining a principal role in studies of parasite epidemiology, Mark has broadened his research profile. He is now involved in a diverse range of projects including adrenarche in Bangladeshi immigrants, the role of the arts in adolescent wellbeing, the utilisation of oral health services in deprived UK communities, and improving access to services for the long-term unemployed. As Associate Director of the WRI, Mark is closely involved with fulfilling and developing the Institute's mission. Mark also convenes the Africa Regional Interest group within the WRI, which forms part of the University's Internationalisation strategy.
In the HEALTHY FUTURES project, UDUR staff are responsible for: examining the effects of environmental changes on emergence and spread of schistosomiasis in the study area. Mark Booth is also responsible for supervision of one of the PhDs funded through the project, and co-leading WP3.