Our team

Our team are passionate noma advocates. We are experts in our respective fields and hope that by combining our skills, we can raise awareness about noma and bring the noma community together. 

Dr Stuart Ainsworth 


Stuart is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Infection Biology and Microbiomes at the University of Liverpool, UK, where he has a small active research team focusing on snakebite envenoming treatments. 

Stuart was first introduced to noma in 2016 whilst working at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and was not only shocked by its cruelty,  but also fascinated by its many parallels with snakebite envenoming; the clinical and social implications, the neglect of the disease and the intense advocacy to have the disease more widely recognised. 

A microbiologist by training, Stuart has experience working on multi-aetiological veterinary infections with many similarities to noma. He is hoping to establish long-term laboratory based research into noma immunology and microbiology in the coming years, and is actively looking for potential collaborators and encourages you to get in touch.  


Dr Elise Farley


Elise has worked in Western, Central and Southern Africa since 2007 managing medical and educational programs within the non-profit sector, and designing and running research projects. 

Elise first met a noma survivor in Malawi in 2013, and since then has dedicated her professional working life to gaining a deeper understanding of this neglected disease. Elise completed a PhD in Public Health Medicine with a focus on noma in 2020. 

There are several gaps in knowledge about noma that Elise is wanting to research in future including gaining an understanding of the burden and distribution of disease; the true mortality rate, the pathogenic cause(s) and the factors that influence prognosis and outcomes after treatment.

John Button

Oral health representative

John Button is a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Master of Science in Oral and Population Health (MOPH) student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and French.

John has been conducting social, behavioral, and clinical research for the past 5 years with a recent focus on noma. He is currently working on a mapping tool for past and present case reports on noma so that we may better understand the disease’s geographic distribution. John has a sincere passion for humanitarian work and surgery and will be pursuing advanced postdoctoral training in oral and maxillofacial surgery following his graduation from dental school.

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