There are many unanswered questions in the field of leprosy, from the mechanism of transmission, to the reasons why some people get severe nerve damage despite good treatment, to the best ways to reduce the stigma of leprosy in a community. Because of the cost of research and the scarcity of other resources needed (in particular, skilled staff and the appropriate patients and settings for a worthwhile clinical study) it makes sense to collaborate with others to support the best projects. The Leprosy Mission has very good access to people with leprosy, through its various institutions, and this makes it a valued partner in many research projects.
The Leprosy Mission three research centres in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, as well as individual hospitals that collaborate in global research studies which, over the decades have contributed to what we know about leprosy and how we manage the disease and its complications today. TLM operates globally recognised leprosy research laboratories in India and Nepal which are involved in, among other things monitoring for MDT resistance.
Our research is not restricted to our hospitals and laboratories. TLM incorporates research into its public health and community-based projects in order to enlarge the current knowledge base, thus enabling evidence-based policy and practice.
TLM International Research Committee
This committee is made up of global experts on leprosy and research who advise and support the research work around the Global Fellowship.
The Leprosy Research Initiative
The Leprosy Mission is part of the Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI), through which funds for research are pooled, resulting in a much larger fund for high priority projects and providing a more focused approach to the most important research questions in leprosy . This means that we are part of a larger research community and can therefore support more research projects than if we were doing it alone. It also provides access to more funds for our own researchers. Our International Director, Brent Morgan, is on the LRI executive committee and our Head of Quality Assurance, Jannine Ebenso, is on the LRI steering committee.
Senior Research Advisor - Dr Deanna Hagge
Deanna has worked with The Leprosy Mission since 2007 and is recognised as a global expert in leprosy research and is a collaborator on a number of global research projects. Based in Kathmandu, Nepal where she is the Director of our Mycobacterium Research Laboratories, Deanna also advises and supports research in all countries where TLM works.
You can read more about The Leprosy Mission's research involvement in our booklet 'Unfinished Business', available below for download.