Chikondi Peno

PhD Student

MRC Centre for Inflammation Research
University of Edinburgh

Chikondi is an upcoming scientist with a keen interest in biomedical research to reduce the infectious disease burden, especially in lower and middle income countries (LMICs). She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education Science majoring in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Malawi. She then joined the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW). Her work primarily focused on pneumococcus and rotavirus, which are significant pathogens in Malawi and causes over a million deaths globally a year. Chikondi recently completed a Master of Science in Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) with support from a MLW training grant. Her previous experience researching pneumococcus stimulated her interest to pursue further studies to understand the interaction between pneumococcus and other pathogens that colonise the respiratory tract.  She has been awarded an MPRU PhD studentship that fully funds her studies at the University of Edinburgh with Debby Bogaert at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research. Her PhD work will investigate the interactions between maternal pneumococcal immunisation, live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), the respiratory microbiome, and subsequent pneumococcal colonisation dynamics in Gambian infants. Her long term research interest is to investigate factors that affect the stability of respiratory ecological niches in order to illuminate the mechanisms that predispose children to disease using molecular and immunological methods.