Leslie joined LSTM in February 2017, working with the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) to produce new reviews and update existing systematic reviews that assess the impacts of vector control interventions on malaria transmission. These reviews have been used to help develop the first formal World Health Organization (WHO) malaria vector control guidelines. Leslie has been involved with various evidence review groups at the WHO. He currently works in the Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC) in collaboration with the CIDG.
Leslie’s background is in entomology; he completed a MSc in Medical Entomology for Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, following a BSc (Hons) in Biology at the University of Nottingham. For his MSc thesis, he worked at the PAMVERC site in Moshi, Tanzania, optimising a novel assay for simulating indoor residual spray (IRS) in a laboratory environment. He then re-joined the group leading on an IRS experimental hut trial.
1. What drew you to CIDG originally?
Many number of things but mainly to help those suffering with malaria in whatever way I could, even if it was small.
2. How would you describe your job at CIDG to a child?
Looking for the best way to kill mosquitoes!
3. What gets you out of bed on a workday?
Most days offer something different at CIDG. Each review is unique and offers its own challenge.
4. What has your experience with CIDG added to your CV?
A huge ethos of Cochrane is collaboration, not just within the organisation but with many different partners around the world.
5. What has been your most exciting achievement with CIDG?
Being involved in the development of the first WHO malaria vector control guidelines.
6. What do you get passionate about?
Public dissemination of high quality evidence. I think we’ve seen how important this given the political climate.
7. How do you recharge after a hard day's work at CIDG?
Playing the piano or getting stuck in a good book. Saying that, I made the mistake of rereading Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science when I first started at Cochrane. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing book and I think everyone (not just scientists and clinicians) should read it. It’s just he mentions Cochrane a lot considering it is my downtime reading.
8. What is your guilty pleasure?
Not exactly guilty as I have no shame, but polishing off whatever cake is left in the office.
9. What type of animal do you think would make a good Cochrane Editor?
An octopus because they need those extra limbs.
The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise.
The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.