Dr Susana Vaz Nery

Research Fellow
Building 62A, Room 2.55
 +61 2 6125 0155





I have a multidisciplinary background, combining degrees and experience in biochemistry, neurosciences, health policy and international development, and field epidemiology.

I moved to Canberra in April 2015, after being based in Timor-Leste for almost 3 years. Prior to my affiliation with ANU I have also lived and worked in Angola, Mozambique, Kenya, The Gambia, and Tanzania.

Originally trained as a molecular and cellular biologist, soon after a PhD in Neuroscience (at NYU Medical Centre, awarded in 2003), I began my career on tropical diseases initially becoming an expert in malaria molecular parasitology as a post doc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). While based in London, I did malaria research in top African research centres and initiatives: Kenya Medical Research Institute – Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KEMRI-WT, Kilifi, Kenya); Medical Research Council, The Gambia Unit; and the Joint Malaria Programme (based at KCMC – Moshi, Tanzania).

I have experience international development and aid, having worked with Malaria Consortium in Mozambique, specifically on monitoring and evaluation of aid programs, and health policy making and implementation.

Subsequently, in Angola, I was the scientific coordinator of a recently created health research centre (CISA Project): I supervised a team of up to 11 scientific staff, that included MDs and MSc candidates, and up to 40 field workers.  Furthermore, I established the necessary collaborations to set in motion a program covering several lines of research including infectious and non-communicable diseases.

I am an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal (my home country) since 2010


Research interests

My current interests are malaria and NTDs control and elimination in developing countries. Particularly I am interested in intervention studies that can inform policies for more effective disease control.

Current Projects:

  • In Angola (CISA Project), I am a chief investigator of a study looking at the etiology of diarrhea in children attending hospital and of a study looking at the impact of the distribution of albendazol, bednets and praziquantel on anemia in school aged children.

At ANU, I am currently overseeing a program of research being implemented in Timor-Leste, that includes STH control, dengue spatial epidemiology and drug prescription patterns:

  • WASH for WORMS – I am the scientific coordinator of a cluster randomised controlled trial (NHMRC APP1013713) looking at the impact of an integrated  WASH and mass albendazole distribution program on STH infections
  • Nested in the main trial are 2 cross-sectional studies that I lead: a) Zoonotic transmission of Ascaris and b) Assessment of the variation in environmental enteropathy.
  • (S)WASH for WORMS – I am the principal investigator of a pilot study comparing the impact of school vs community WASH (Gates Grand Challenges Explorations OPP1119041).  In this video I discuss how the funding will help us achieve a reduction in the rate of worm infections in the region. Click to view
  • Other projects that I lead are:
  • Patterns of drug prescription at reference hospitals in Timor-Leste; and
  • Spatial analysis of dengue in Timor-Leste.
  • I am also an associate investigator in a trial assessing the impact of a sanitation intervention on infection with intestinal worms in Indonesia (APP APP1077138), led by Prof. Darren Gray.


  • Gyawali P, Ahmed W, Sidhu JP, Nery SV, Clements AC, Traub R, McCarthy JS, Llewellyn S, Jagals P, Toze S. (2016). Quantitative detection of viable helminth ova from raw wastewater, human feces, and environmental soil samples using novel PMA-qPCR methods. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Jun 15. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI 10.1007/s11356-016-7039-9
  • Campbell SJ, Nery SV, Doi S, Gray DJ, Soares Magalhães RJ, McCarthy JS, Traub RJ, Andrews RM, Clements ACA. (2016) Complexities and perplexities: A critical appraisal of the evidence for soil-transmitted helminth infection-related morbidity. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 10(5): e0004566. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004566
  • Llewellyn S, Inpankaew T, Nery SV, Gray DJ, Verweij JJ, Clements AC, Gomes SJ, Traub R, McCarthy JS. Application of a Multiplex Quantitative PCR to Assess Prevalence and Intensity Of Intestinal Parasite Infections in a Controlled Clinical Trial. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Jan 28;10(1):e0004380. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004380. eCollection 2016 Jan
  • Gasparinho C, Mirante MC, Centeno-Lima S, Istrate C, Mayer AC, Tavira L, Nery SV, Brito M. Etiology of Diarrhea in Children Younger Than 5 Years Attending the Bengo General Hospital in Angola. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Feb;35(2):e28-34. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000957
  • Campbell SJ, Nery SV, McCarthy JS, Gray DJ, Soares Magalhães RJ, Clements ACA. A critical appraisal of control strategies for soil-transmitted helminths. Trends in Parasitology, 2016 32(2) pp. 97-107
  • Nery SV, McCarthy JS, Traub R, Andrews RM, Black J, Gray D, Weking E, Atkinson JA, Campbell S, Francis N, Vallely A, Williams G, Clements A. A cluster-randomised controlled trial integrating a community-based water, sanitation and hygiene programme, with mass distribution of albendazole to reduce intestinal parasites in Timor-Leste: the WASH for WORMS research protocol. BMJ Open. 2015 Dec 30;5(12):e009293. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009293. PMID:26719316
  • Campbell SJ, Savage GB, Gray DJ, Atkinson JA, Soares Magalhães RJ, Nery SV, McCarthy JS, Velleman Y, Wicken JH, Traub RJ, Williams GM, Andrews RM, Clements AC. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): a critical component for sustainable soil-transmitted helminth and schistosomiasis control. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Apr 10;8(4):e2651
  • Magalhães RJS, Fançony C, Gamboa D, Langa A, Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Clements ACA, Nery SV. Extending helminth control beyond STH and schistosomiasis: the case of human hymenolepiasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 7(10)
  • Fançony  C, Sebastião VY, Pires EJ, Gamboa  D, Nery SV. Performance of microscopy and RDTs in the context of a malaria prevalence survey in Angola: a comparison using PCR as the gold standard. Malaria Journal. 2013 12:284
  • Magalhães RJS, Langa A, Pedro JM,  Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Clements ACA, Nery SV. Role of malnutrition and parasite infections in the spatial variation in children's anaemia risk in northern Angola. Geospatial Health, May 2013
  • Pires, JE, Sebastião YV, Langa AJ, Nery SV.  Hypertension in Northern Angola: prevalence, associated factors, awareness, treatment and control. BMC Public Health. 2013 13:90
  • Magalhães RJS, Langa A,  Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Clements ACA, Nery SV. Finding malaria hot-spots in northern Angola: the role of individual, household and environmental factors within a meso-endemic area. Malaria Journal. 2012 11:385
  • Costa, MJ, Rosário, E, Langa, A, António, G, Bendriss, A and Vaz Nery, S. Setting up a Demographic Surveillance System in Dande Municipality, Angola. African Population Studies. 2012 Vol 26, 2
  • Fançony C, Gamboa D, Sebastião Y, Hallett R, Sutherland C, Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Nery SV Various pfcrt and pfmdr1 Genotypes of Plasmodium falciparum Cocirculate with P. malariae, P. ovale spp., and P. vivax in Northern Angola.. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Oct;56(10):5271-7
  • Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Gamboa D, Pedro JM, Fançony C, Langa AJ, Magalhães RJ, Stothard JR, Nery SV. Epidemiology of malaria, schistosomiasis, geohelminths, anemia and malnutrition in the context of a demographic surveillance system in northern Angola. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e33189
  • Stothard JR, Sousa-Figueiredo JC, Betson M, Green HK, Seto EY, Garba A, Sacko M, Mutapi F, Vaz Nery S, Amin MA, Mutumba-Nakalembe M, Navaratnam A, Fenwick A, Kabatereine NB, Gabrielli AF, Montresor A. Closing the praziquantel treatment gap: new steps in epidemiological monitoring and control of schistosomiasis in African infants and preschool-aged children. Parasitology. 2011 Oct;138(12):1593-606
  • Deans, A.M, Nery, S., Conway, D.J, Kai, O., Marsh, K. and Rowe, A. Invasion pathways and malaria severity in Kenyan Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates. Infect Immun. 2007 Jun;75(6):3014-20
  • Nery, S., Deans, A.M., Mosobo M., Marsh, K., Rowe, A. and Conway, D.J. Expression of Plasmodium falciparum genes involved in erythrocyte invasion varies among isolates cultured directly from patients. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2006 Oct; 149(2):208-15
  • Carney RS, Alfonso TB, Cohen D, Dai H, Nery S, Stoica B, Slotkin J, Bregman BS, Fishell G, Corbin JG. Cell Migration along the Lateral Cortical Stream to the Developing Basal Telencephalic Limbic System. J Neurosci. 2006 Nov 8;26(45):11562-11574
  • Butt, S., J., B., Fuccillo, M., Nery, S., Noctor, S., Kriegstein, A., Corbin, J., G. and Fishell, G. The Temporal and Spatial Origins of Cortical Interneurons predicts their Physiological Subtype. Neuron. 2005 Nov 23;48(4):591-604
  • Mason, H.A., Rakowiecki, S.M., Raftopoulou, M., Nery, S., Huang YY., Gridley,T. and Fishell, G. Notch signaling coordinates the patterning of striatal compartments. Development. 2005, 132: 4247-4258
  • Yoon K, Nery S, Rutlin ML, Radtke F, Fishell G, Gaiano N. Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Promotes Radial Glial Identity and Interacts with Notch1 Signaling in Telencephalic Progenitors, The Journal of Neuroscience. 2004, 24(43):9497-9506.
  • Machold R, Hayashi S, Rutlin M, Muzumdar M, Nery S, Corbin JG, Gritli-Linde A, Dellovade T, Porter JA, Rubin LL, Dudek H, McMahon AP, Fishell G. Sonic hedgehog is required for progenitor cell maintenance in telencephalic stem cell niches. Neuron. 2003, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 937-950
  • Nery S, Corbin J, Fishell, G. Dlx2 progenitor migration in wild type and Nkx2.1 Mutant telencephalon. Cerebral Cortex. 2003, vol. 13, no. 9, pp. 895-903
  • Nery S, Fishell G, Corbin J. The caudal ganglionic eminence is a source of distinct cortical and subcortical cell populations. Nature Neuroscience. 2002, vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 1279-1287
  • Corbin JG, Nery S, Fishell G. Telencephalic cells take a tangent: non-radial migration in the mammalian forebrain. Nature Neuroscience Supplement. 2001, 4:1177-1182
  • Wichterle H, Turnbull DH, Nery S, Fishell G, Alvarez-Buylla A. In utero fate mapping reveals distinct migratory pathways and fates of neurons born in the mammalian basal forebrain. Development. 2001, 128:3759-3771.
  • Nery S, Wichterle H, Fishell G. Sonic hedgehog contributes to oligodendrocyte specification in the mammalian forebrain. Development. 2001, 128: 527-540.
  • Lee JD, Kraus P, Gaiano N, Nery S, Kohtz J, Fishell G, Loomis C, Treisman JE. An Acylatable Residue of Hedgehog Is Differentially Required in Drosophila and Mouse Limb Development. Developmental Biology. 2001, 233:122-136.
  • Zaid A, Li R, Luciakova K, Barath P, Nery S, Nelson BD. On the Role of the General Transcription Factor Sp1 in the Activation and Repression of Diverse Mammalian Oxidative Phosphorylation Genes. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. 1999, 31(2):129-135.

Updated:  21 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Executive Support Officer