Dr. Katja Polman (ITM Antwerp) heads the Unit of Medical Helminthology, Dept of Biomedical Sciences, of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. She also is a part-time associate professor and heads the Section of Infectious Diseases, Dept of Health Sciences, at the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
She has a university training in Medical Biology and Parasitology and a Master in Epidemiology. She did her PhD on the epidemiological application of circulating antigen detection in schistosomiasis. Her current fields of research are in Tropical Medical Parasitology, and Epidemiology and Control of Helminth Diseases, with focus on schistosomiasis and zoonotic helminthiases of public health importance. Also, she has extensive experience with research capacity strengthening within ITM development cooperation projects in Africa and Latin America.
The research within her unit covers several domains including i] Molecular epidemiology of helminth parasites (population genetics and transmission dynamics, effect of mass treatment and drug resistance); ii] Immuno-epidemiology of helminth diseases (resistance, pathology, and interactions with other infections and diseases); iii] Integrated control (applicability and impact of integrated helminth control), with the overall objective is to understand the host-parasite-environment relationship and to identify and develop strategies for integrated and sustainable control and prevention of helminthic diseases.
Her presentation will look at “challenges and opportunities in NTD control, focusing on ITM’s views and (research) activities in this field”.