Professor Martin Holland
Martin's interest focus on the development of conjunctival fibrosis causing scarring and the characterisation of immune responses to potential C. trachomatis vaccine candidates. His research applies genomic scale studies to trachoma examining the conjunctival transcriptome by microarray, RNAseq and high through put quantitative RTPCR. He has also studied the ocular microbiome using 16S-amplicon sequencing, the global anti-Ct antibody repertoire, and host genetic susceptiblity by GWAS. His interests also include pathogen variation by whole genome sequencing associated with clinical severity, ocular tropism and identified genome wide signatures of selection. This interest led to the development of a number of research areas including investigating the role of NK cells in the response to Chlamydia trachomatis, the contribution of host genetics (in particular the role of KIR/HLA) to disease and understanding the extent of pathogen diversity and its impact on clinical disease.
Martin was previously based at the Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia leading a group of field assistants, students and scientists investigating trachoma. The research group investigated the immunology of ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis cutting across a number of disciplines ranging from molecular immunogenetics to classical cellular immunology. This work in trachoma endemic populations continues through a collaboration with the MRC Unit and with other members of LSHTM staff in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia.