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Professor Melanie Newport

Prof Melanie Newport

Professor Melanie Newport (MBBS, PhD, FRCP)

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Global Health
T: +44 (0)1273 877882
Location: Room 3.10 BSMS Teaching Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9PX

DA: Debbie Miller
T: +44 (0)1273 877889 

Areas of expertise: Infectious diseases; genetic susceptibility to infection and to tropical diseases; genetics of African populations

Research areas: genetics of podoconiosis, global antimicrobial resistance

Other relevant positions: Director of the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research as well as HoD.



Melanie Newport is Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She graduated with distinction from St Mary's Hospital Medical School, University of London, and trained in clinical infectious diseases in the UK and The Gambia. She has been a consultant physician since 2003.  Melanie joined Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) in 2004, just after it opened.

She has led the strategic development of Global Health, a core BSMS theme. This includes the establishment of the Clinical Elective module, the Global Health MSc course and a vibrant research programme that has an international reputation for taking a multidisciplinary approach to tackle conditions that disproportionately affect poor and vulnerable communities living in low-income countries.

Melanie has been a trustee of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and was the founding Executive Secretary and then interim President of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG), a partner in the Wellcome Trust/NIH funded H3 Africa Initiative. She chairs the Brighton Lusaka Health Link, a partnership linking the medical and nursing schools and the university teaching hospitals in Lusaka, Zambia and Brighton, that empowers health care professionals to share skills and knowledge with an overall goal of improving health in Zambia.


Melanie was awarded her PhD in 1996, having investigated the genetic basis of a rare immunodeficiency that increased susceptibility to mycobacterial infections in a Maltese family.  This work led to the discovery of a new clinical syndrome, Mendelian Susceptibility to Mycobacterial Diseases (OMIM #107470). As a post-doctoral researcher, Melanie led the TB genetics group at the MRC Laboratories in The Gambia, setting up a new lab, and contributing as co-investigator to the landmark Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that included malaria and TB.

Melanie’s researches now focuses more on tropical diseases (both infectious and non-communicable), investigating the genetic basis of podoconiosis (non-filarial elephantiasis), a neglected tropical disease that contributes to significant morbidity and poverty in affected populations. We have identified a major susceptibility locus for this disease and studies have been extended into other populations and other related neglected diseases. We also have a growing interdisciplinary research project on antimicrobial resistance working with partners from other schools at the University of Sussex, the Institute of Development Studies and a range of colleagues based in institutions in Europe and Africa.

The team has received grant funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (UK), NC3Rs, UKAid and the University of Sussex.



Melanie teaches infectious diseases and global health to undergraduate medical and Msc students.  She also supervises dissertations for the MSc Global Health. Prof Newport is committed to research training and capacity building through supervision of students, teaching at workshops, securing funding for teaching and training programmes and her work for International Societies.

Selected publications

Addissie A, Abay S, Feleke Y, Newport M, Farsides B, Davey G. Cluster randomized trial assessing the effects of rapid ethical assessment on informed consent comprehension in a low-resource setting. BMC Med Ethics. 2016;17(1):40.

Iwuji CC, McGrath N, de Oliveira T, Porter K, Pillay D, Fisher M, Newport M, Newell ML. The Art of HIV Elimination: Past and Present Science. J AIDS Clin Res. 2015;6.

Suleiman SH, Koko ME, Nasir WH, Elfateh O, Elgizouli UK, Abdallah MO, Alfarouk KO, Hussain A, Faisal S, Ibrahim FM, Romano M, Sultan A, Banks L, Newport M, Baralle F, Elhassan AM, Mohamed HS, Ibrahim ME. Exome sequencing of a colorectal cancer family reveals shared mutation pattern and predisposition circuitry along tumor pathways. Front Genet. 2015;6:288.

Tekola-Ayele F, Adeyemo A, Chen G, Hailu E, Aseffa A, Davey G, Newport MJ, Rotimi CN. Novel genomic signals of recent selection in an Ethiopian population. Eur J Hum Genet. 2015;23(8):1085-92.

Tekola-Ayele F, Adeyemo A, Aseffa A, Hailu E, Finan C, Davey G, Rotimi CN, Newport MJ. Clinical and pharmacogenomic implications of genetic variation in a Southern Ethiopian population. Pharmacogenomics J. 2015;15(1):101-8.

Gebreyes WA, Dupouy-Camet J, Newport MJ, Oliveira CJ, Schlesinger LS, Saif YM, Kariuki S, Saif LJ, Saville W, Wittum T, Hoet A, Quessy S, Kazwala R, Tekola B, Shryock T, Bisesi M, Patchanee P, Boonmar S, King LJ. The global one health paradigm: challenges and opportunities for tackling infectious diseases at the human, animal, and environment interface in low-resource settings. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014;8(11):e3257.

Chico RM, Hack BB, Newport MJ, Ngulube E, Chandramohan D. On the pathway to better birth outcomes? A systematic review of azithromycin and curable sexually transmitted infections. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2013;11:1303-32.

Tekola Ayele F, Adeyemo A, Finan C, Hailu E, Sinnott P, Diaz Burlington N, Aseffa A, Rotimi CN, Newport MJ, Davey G. HLA class II locus and susceptibility to podoconiosis. N Engl J Med. 2012;366:1200-8.

Thye T, Owusu-Dabo E, Vannberg F, van Crevel R, Curtis J, Sahiratmadja E, Balabanova Y, Ehmen C, Muntau B, Ruge G, Sievertsen J, Gyapong J, Nikolayevskyy V, Adegbola R, Hill PC, Drobniewski F, van de Vosse E, Newport M, Alisjahbana B, Nejentsev S, Ottenhoff THM, Hill AVS, Horstmann RD, Meyer CG. A novel susceptibility locus for tuberculosis on chromosome 11p13 downstream the WT1 gene. Nat Genet. 2012;44:257-9.

Newport MJ, Finan C. Genome-wide association studies and susceptibility to infectious diseases. Brief Funct Genomics. 2011;10(2):98-107.

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