Queensland February branch meeting

TIME:          4:45 for refreshments followed by talk at
                5:00PM, Tuesday 20 February 2018

COST:         Free

VENUE: Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, B Block, Room 310

       Members and guests are welcome to join the speaker afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

TITLE: The Evolution of the WHO Product Testing Program for Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests; Challenges, Impacts and New Directions

SPEAKER:  A/Prof Michelle Gatton, Queensland University of Technology

ABSTRACT: Malaria continues to be a serious threat, responsible for approximately 438,000 deaths in 2015. Since malaria causes clinical presentation indistinguishable from other fever-causing pathogens, rapid, accurate diagnosis is a crucial component of effective case management. While microscopy once formed the cornerstone of malaria diagnosis, the advent of antigen-detecting point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) changed the landscape of diagnostic testing. Malaria RDTs emerged in the early 1990s into unregulated markets, and concerns over field performance followed. This led the World Health Organization, in conjunction with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, to create an independent RDT evaluation programme aiming to provide comparative performance data, thus ensuring quality malaria RDTs were being deployed in malaria-endemic countries. Since 2008 eight rounds of product testing have been conducted examining over 250 independent malaria RDTs. In this seminar some of the statistical challenges in designing the testing program will be discussed, along with the impact of the program and the insights gained. Ten years after the first round of product testing substantial changes to the program are underway creating new challenges for ensuring data equivalence across testing rounds.

BIOGRAPHY: Dr Michelle Gatton is an Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology. Michelle completed her PhD in Medical Engineering (QUT) in 2000. She has a BSc(Hon) majoring in applied mathematics and statistics, and environmental pollution and health.

Between 2000 and 2012 Michelle was a Research Fellow at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and was appointed Head of the Malaria Drug Resistance and Chemotherapy Laboratory in 2010. She joined QUT in 2013 and is currently Associate Professor and Discipline Leader of Public Health.

Michelle’s research interests focus primarily on mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria. Recent research projects include modelling the transmission of drug-resistance malaria parasites and quantifying the impact of malaria control activities. Michelle has a keen interest in ensuring the quality of diagnostic tools used for clinical diagnosis of malaria, and regularly works with the World Health Organization, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and Australian Army Malaria Institute on projects related to malaria diagnostics.


Keep your community strong, SSA provides a place for networking, opportunities for professional development and accreditation. In a world of alternative facts, professional bodies play an increasing important role in sharing and dissemination of trusted information.  You can make a difference, get involved in your local branch, Student membership is only $20. For more detail click here. http://www.statsoc.org.au/membership/types-of-membership/.

When: 20/02/2018
Time: 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

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