Andrea L. Conroy, HBSc PhD
Assistant Research Professor
Biomarkers of host response to infection; endothelial activation and angiogenesis; clinical epidemiology
AREAS OF INTEREST
Pathogenesis of malaria in pregnancy and childhood; identifying and validating biomarkers to risk stratify patients (e.g. children at increased risk of death/neurologic impairment); the epidemiology of severe malaria; and evaluating new adjunctive therapies for malaria.
Dr. Conroy's research centers on understanding the impact of infections on global women’s and children’s health with the end goal of developing new tools to risk stratify patients. She received her training in a translational global health research environment focused on malaria pathogenesis and the development of new therapeutics. Dr. Conroy is interested in understanding how infections alter the expression of proteins important for regulating blood vessel development and maintaining vascular integrity. She has experience conducting research studies on malaria in pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi), HIV in pregnant women in Uganda, dengue and leptospirosis in Colombia, and sepsis and influenza in North America.
|2002-2006||Honors in Biomedical Science, University of Guelph|
|2006-2011||PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto|
|2011-2015||Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medicine, University of Toronto|
HONORS & AWARDS
2010, Young Investigators Award, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2012, P.E.O. Women’s Scholar Award
2013, Giorgio Pardi Foundation Plenary Award, Outstanding Research by a Junior Investigator in Fetal Medicine and Placental Function, Society for Gynecologic Investigation
2014, SGI President’s Presenter’s Award, Global Health Epidemiology, Society for Gynecologic Investigation
RESEARCH & GRANTS
Stars in Global Health, Grand Challenges Canada
Growth 4 Peanuts (G4P): Scaling up fetal growth for peanuts.
Successful pregnancy requires the development of a complex placental vascular network to support increasing oxygen and metabolic needs of the growing fetus. Malaria can impair vascular remodeling necessary to sustain the metabolic demands of the fetus leading to growth restriction. L-arginine is an amino acid that supports nitric oxide-dependent adaptive vasodilation of placental vessels. This study is evaluating whether oral L-arginine supplementation will improve fetal viability and growth in experimental placental malaria, and whether reduced L-arginine is associated with adverse birth outcomes in cohort of pregnant Malawian women.
Saving Brains, Grand Challenges Canada
New malaria policies to protect early brain development.
This study looks beyond birth weight as an endpoint for malaria in pregnancy studies to examine the impact of malaria exposure in utero on infant neurocognitive development. If malaria exposure during critical periods of brain development in utero affects infant neurocognitive development, it will provide compelling evidence that better malaria interventions are needed in pregnancy to promote children’s health.
Conroy AL, Silver KL, Zhong K, Rennie M, Ward P, Sarma JV, Molyneux ME, Sled J, Fletcher JF, Rogerson S, Kain KC. Complement activation and the resulting placental vascular insufficiency drives fetal growth restriction associated with placental malaria. Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Feb 13;13(2):215-26.
Conroy AL, Hawkes M, Namasopo S, John CC, Liles WC, Opoka RO, Kain KC. Prospective validation of pediatric disease severity scores to predict in-hospital mortality in Ugandan children with malaria and non-malaria febrile illness. Crit Care 2015 19:47.
Hawkes M, Conroy AL, Kain KC. Spread of artemisinin resistance in malaria. N Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 13;371(20):1944-5.
Hawkes MT, Conroy AL, Opoka RO, Hermann L, Thorpe KE, McDonald C, Kim H, Higgins S, Namasopo S, John C, Miller C, Liles WC, Kain KC. Inhaled nitric oxide as adjunctive therapy for severe malaria: a randomized controlled trial. Malar J. 2015 Oct 29;14(1):421.
Hawkes M, Conroy AL, Opoka RO, Namasopo S, Zhong K, Liles WC, John CC, Kain KC. Slow Clearance of Plasmodium falciparum in Severe Pediatric Malaria, Uganda, 2011-2013. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul;21(7):1237-9.
Conroy AL, Glover SJ, Hawkes M, Erdman LK, Seydel KB, Taylor TE, Molyneux ME, Kain KC. Angiopoietin-2 levels are associated with retinopathy and predict mortality in Malawian children with cerebral malaria: a retrospective case-control study. Crit Care Med. 2012 Mar;40(3):952-9.
Conroy AL, Liles WC, Molyneux ME, Rogerson SJ, Kain KC. Performance characteristics of combinations of host biomarkers to identify women with occult placental malaria: a case-control study from Malawi. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28540.