PhD Studentship at the University of Bath


I’m advertising for a PhD student to work with me and Julian on the OpenFlexure Microscope at the University of Bath, particularly on the malaria diagnostics project. It’s fully funded for “home” students, which I’m afraid means this is only relevant for EU citizens. Please do send me an email if you’re interested - I check this forum less often than perhaps I should!



Just curious, do you have a link to more info on the malaria diagnostics project?


Very interesting, few days ago I posted this on social media;

"Mboalab is looking protocols for molecular detection of malaria; because Microscopy and Rapid diagnostics tests are not accurate for low density malaria infections. I you have any idea, don’t hesitate to share with us. "

You are interested only in microscopy, but I will be interested to know more about your results.


The advert linked above is probably about as much detail as we’ve published anywhere yet; the study has been going 9 months, but most of that has been getting the necessary financial and ethical arrangements in place to be able to start taking data. We’ll be collecting and imaging a large number of slides, from clinics in Bagamoyo and Rufiji, and by the end of the project we hope we’ll have both a well tested microscope, able to image blood smears without much human input, and some computer vision algorithms that can spot the parasites.

The microscope is pretty well ready for use - and it is on github, though the instructions are not as polished as I’d like! ( We are currently reorganising the software for data acquisition, and will be sharing it as we go along.


Hi Thomas, you’re right that we are primarily using microscopy (we’ll be measuring HRRP levels too, as a comparison). It would be interesting to see whether automated microscopy is capable of being more sensitive than manual microscopy (e.g. by scanning a larger area) but I suspect it will never match the sensitivity of e.g. PCR based tests. That said, it should give a good quantitative measure of parasitaemia in more acute infections.