Located in Vientiane, the main objective of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) is to conduct clinical research on diseases of public health importance, to contribute directly to health improvement in Laos and similar communities with little health information across Asia.
Directed by Elizabeth Ashley, LOMWRU is a research collaboration between MORU and Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane. A team of 92 research and support staff in the capital and the provinces are working as part of the collaboration, including several Lao Government employees led by Dr Manivanh Vongsouvath, Head of the Mahosot Microbiology Laboratory. In addition LOMWRU has molecular and serology laboratories and a BSL3 laboratory for rickettsial, Mycobacterium spp., B. pseudomallei and viral culture.
LOMWRU conducts clinical studies on a wide range of infectious diseases in Vientiane and also at a number of provincial hospitals and field sites in rural Laos and participates in multicentre studies across the MORU Network. The head of field research is Associate Professor Mayfong Mayxay, a founding member of LOMWRU and Vice President of the University of Health Sciences.
LOMWRU builds diagnostic, clinical and research capacity and, with the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), conducts a diversity of research projects on medicine quality epidemiology, diagnostics, forensics and advocacy.
LOMWRU supports the infectious disease diagnostic service of Mahosot Hospital and assists other Lao hospitals, including in the investigation of epidemics.