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  • Become a global leader in tropical rickettsiosis research, studying epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
  • Host a rickettsiosis research hub containing all information, maps, and data that would be open to the research community and foster communication and collaboration between researchers.
  • Improve treatment for scrub typhus by conducting a multi-centre, multi-country clinical trial to determine the optimum treatment of severe scrub typhus, comparing intravenous doxycycline with intravenous azithromycin and a combination of the two (in collaboration with Christian Medical College, Vellore, India).
  • Develop the rationale for scrub typhus vaccination, and conduct non-human primate studies of vaccine candidates. Produce the evidence base for the development and safe conduct of a controlled human scrub typhus infection model including investigating the significance of persistence and dormancy.
  • Develop and improve technologies for studying the cell biology and host-pathogen interactions of fastidious and genetically-intractable bacterial organisms, especially the Rickettsiales. These methodologies include fluorescent labelling for microscopy, improved bacterial propagation techniques, high-throughput imaging assays and developing genetic tools.
  • Study fundamental aspects of the host-pathogen cell biology of Orientia tsutsugamushi with a particular focus on the peptidoglycan cell wall and its interaction with host cells, the intracellular infection cycle of the bacterium, and the mechanisms of virulence in hosts.
  • Initiate a comparative cell biology program on obligate intracellular Rickettsiales bacterium including R. typhi and Neorickettsia sennetsu.