The Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) is the MORU Tropical Health Network’s unit in the Lao PDR (Laos), active since 2002. LOMWRU’s headquarters are in the capital city, Vientiane, where it is embedded within the Microbiology Laboratory of Mahosot Hospital.
Directed by Elizabeth Ashley, the unit has 85 research and support staff. One third are Lao government staff led by Dr Manivanh Vongsouvath and the remainder are project funded LOMWRU staff. In Vientiane LOMWRU has conventional bacteriology, molecular and serology laboratories and the first BSL3 laboratory in Laos for rickettsial, Mycobacterium spp., B. pseudomallei and viral culture. We conduct clinical studies on a wide range of infectious diseases in Vientiane and also at a number of provincial hospitals and field sites in rural Laos and participates in multicentre studies across the MORU Network.
LOMWRU’s main objective is to conduct clinical research on diseases of public health importance, to contribute directly to health improvement in Laos and similar communities with little health information across Asia. LOMWRU builds diagnostic, clinical and research capacity and, with the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), conducts a diversity of research projects on medicine quality epidemiology, diagnostics, forensics and advocacy.
LOMWRU supports the infectious disease diagnostic service of Mahosot Hospital and assists other Lao hospitals, including in the investigation of epidemics. We have over 75 collaborations, 16 within Lao PDR, and 45 International collaborations (in addition to collaborations with MORU, SMRU, COMRU, MOCRU and OUCRU).