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A. Lee   Willingham BSc, DVM, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies, Professor of One Health


 

Dr. Arve Lee Willingham graduated (DVM) from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. Following four years of private veterinary practice he served as a Peace Corps volunteer (1990-1992) in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco where he developed an interest in parasitic worm zoonoses of both public health and agricultural importance in developing countries. This interest led to a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship (1993) and PhD (1994-1997) study programs on zoonotic schistosomiasis at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark. His research work was recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (Samuel F. Scheidy Excellence in Research Award in 1995) and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (Graduate Student Research Award in 1996).

From 1997-2010 Dr Willingham was involved in projects in Africa funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) aimed at strengthening research capacity on parasitic worm diseases of livestock belonging to small-scale farmers. From 2004-2006 he was seconded by DANIDA to the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to work with their project on human health impacts of livestock keeping. Dr Willingham was lead organizer of international meetings on cysticercosis held in Arusha, Tanzania (2002) and Bellagio, Italy (2004 and 2006) and assisted in the establishment of the Regional Network for Asian Schistosomiasis plus Other Helminth Zoonoses (RNAS+) and the Cysticercosis Working Group in Eastern and Southern Africa (CWGESA) for which he currently serves as an adviser. In November 2007 he organized, on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO), the regional meeting Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses in Africa held in Kenya.

Dr. Willingham worked at the World Health Organization’s Special Program for Tropical Diseases Research and Training (TDR) based in Geneva, Switzerland from 2010-2013 where he facilitated identification and prioritization of global research needs for helminth and zoonotic diseases as well as environment, agriculture and infectious diseases and assisted in initiating TDR’s new research programme on environmental and climate change impacts on vector-borne diseases.

 

Education

BSc, Zoology and Psychology, University of Georgia

DVM, University of Georgia

PhD, Parasitology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark

Achievements

Adjunct Professor of Parasitic Zoonoses, University of Copenhagen (2011-2016)

Expert for the WHO Special Programme on Tropical Diseases Research and

Training (TDR)’s Disease Reference Group on Zoonoses and Marginalized Infections (2009-2010)

Expert for the WHO Special Programme on Tropical Diseases Research and

Training (TDR)’s Thematic Reference Group on Environment, Agriculture and Human Health (2008-2010)

Advisor of the World Health Organization’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) (2007-2010)

International advisor to the Cysticercosis Working Group in Eastern and Southern Africa (CWGESA) (since 2002)

Deputy Director of WHO/FAO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training on Neglected and Other Parasitic Zoonoses based at University of Copenhagen (2001-2010)

Veterinary advisor to the Regional Network for Asian Schistosomiasis plus Other Helminth Zoonoses (RNAS+) (since 1998)

Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) (1995)

Samuel F. Scheidy Memorial Award by the American Veterinary Medical

Foundation for Excellence in Quality of Veterinary Medical Research

Reported at the World Veterinary Congress (1995)

Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark (1993)

Peace Corps Volunteer, Morocco (1990-1992)

Publication Highlights

Mwanjali G, Kihamia C, Kuru KN, Lekule FP, Ngowi H, Johansen MV, Thamsborg SM, Willingham AL. Prevalence and risk factors associated with human Taenia solium infections in Mbozi district, Mbeya Region, Tanzania. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013;7(3):e2102. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002102.

McCarthy JS, Lustigman S, Yang GJ, Barakat RM, García HH, Sripa B, Willingham AL, Prichard RK, Basáñez MG. A research agenda for helminth diseases of humans: diagnostics for control and elimination programmes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2012;6:e1601.

Molyneux D, Hallaj Z, Keusch GT, McManus DP, Ngowi H, Cleaveland S, Ramos-Jimenez P, Gotuzzo E, Kar K, Sanchez A, Garba A, Carabin H, Bassili A, Chaignat CL, Meslin FX, Abushama HM, Willingham AL, Kioy D. Zoonoses and marginalised infectious diseases of poverty: where do we stand? Parasites & Vectors. 2011;4:106.

Pondja A, Neves L, Mlangwa J, Afonso S, Fafetine J, Willingham AL, Thamsborg SM, Johansen MV. Prevalence and risk factors of porcine cysticercosis in Angónia District, Mozambique. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2010;4:e594. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000594.

Sikasunge CS, Phiri IK, Phiri AM, Siziya S, Dorny P, Willingham AL. 3rd. Prevalence of Taenia solium porcine cysticercosis in Eastern, Southern and Western provinces of Zambia. Veterinary Journal. 2008; 176:240-244.

Ngowi HA, Kassuku AA, Maeda G, Boa ME, Carabin H, Willingham III AL. Risk factors for the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis in Mbulu District, Tanzania. Veterinary Parasitology. 2004;120:275-283.

Phiri IK, Ngowi H, Afonso SMS, Matenga E, Boa M, Mukaratirwa S, Githigia SM,Saimo MK, Sikasunge CS, Maingi N, Lubega GW, Kassuku A, Michael LM, Siziya S, Krecek RC, Noormahomed E, Vilhena M, Dorny P, Willingham III AL. The emergence of Taenia solium cysticercosis in eastern and southern Africa as a serious agricultural problem and public health risk. Acta Tropica. 2003;87:13-23.

Boa M, Mukaratirwa S, Willingham AL, Johansen MV. Regional action plan for combating Taenia solium cysticercosis/taeniosis in eastern and southern Africa. Acta Tropica. 2003;87:183-186.
Olesen A, Mubila L, Willingham III AL. Human helminth infections - future research foci in eastern & southern Africa. Trends in Parasitology. 2001;17:304-305.

Willingham III AL, Hurst M, Bogh HO, Johansen MV, Lindberg R, Christensen NO, Nansen P. Schistosoma japonicum in the pig: The host-parasite relationship as influenced by the intensity and duration of experimental infections. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1998;58:248-256.

Interests

Parasitic zoonoses of both public health and agricultural importance such as cysticercosis, echinococcosis, schistosomiasis and foodborne trematode diseases, especially in resource constrained areas of the world