- Infections in pregnancy, particularly HIV
- Maternal and child health
- Exposure to HIV and pregnancy outcomes
- HIV-treatment in pregnancy and preterm delivery
External roles and responsibilities
Marie-Louise led multidisciplinary European research in both HIV and HCV, which has been extremely productive. Marie-Louise has addressed mother-to-child transmission of HIV, particularly relating to developing countries, by collaborating with key researchers in developing and developed countries to improve methodological and analytical quality. From late 2005 until November 2013, she was based in South Africa on a Wellcome Trust-funded secondment from University College London (UCL), to lead the Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in rural KwaZulu-Natal. She initiated a broad innovative programme of research addressing the impact of HIV infection at a population, community, household and individual level. She created a powerful resource from which to derive unique insights into the dynamics of HIV infection in this rural population. She quantified the impact of comprehensive antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage to reverse the substantial increase in HIV-related deaths in populations with high HIV prevalence. Marie-Louise showed that maternal ART and subsequent survival was a substantially more important contributor to the observed decline in early child mortality than the roll-out of prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes.
At the University of Southampton, she established the Global Health Research Institute. She continued her research on HIV infection in pregnancy, with a NIH R01 award to study pregnancy outcome in terms of the immunological environment during pregnancy in HIV infected women who were either on ART already at conception or who initiated ART during early pregnancy. This research took place in Cape Town, South Africa and provided the basis for a programme of research on the consequences of ART exposure in fetal and early life for the increasing number of HIV-exposed but uninfected children. In 2018, I received funding from the NIHR Global Health, for a project exploring delivery of nutritional interventions to optimise nutritional status of young adults who will become parents, and their future offspring, in the context of Developmental Origin of Adult Health, with three African sites.
She was appointed a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012 and a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013. She received the prestigious award for her contribution to HIV science from the European AIDS Clinicians Society in 2013. She has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, and a number of reviews, opinion pieces and book chapters.