Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Tropical medicine - trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease, sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, cryptosporidium, toxoplasmosis, malaria, dengue; parasitology; evolutionary biology; cell biology/pharmacology.


  • Research Assistant, Royal Veterinary College 1990-1992
  • Independent Research Fellow, Northwestern University Medical School 1998-2003
  • Lecturer, University of East Anglia, 2003-2008
  • Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia, 2008-current

Key Research Interests

Parasite Virulence

We are investigating the evolution of parasite molecules which are associated with host specificity and virulence in a number of parasites. 

We currently have two funded PhD positions available

These are well supported by Merck Animal Health, are focussed on different aspects of the protective mechanism of the new Cryptosporidium vaccine and will involve studies of immunity and metagenomics.

email me at if you are interested.



We thank the Wellcome Foundation, The European Commission, RCUK, Merck Animal Health, British Council, CAPES CNPq, John and Pamela Salter Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, King Abdulasiz University and the University of East Anglia for support.



Research Group or Lab Membership


Georgina Hurle

Technician and MRes - cryptosporiidum research

Dalal Ardan

PhD student: - Trichomonas gallinae research

Meshaal Sabir

PhD student: - Leishmania research

Mumdooh Sabir

PhD student: Bioinformatics research


  • Edmundo Grisard

Visiting Scientist "role of parasite surface determinants in pathogenicity of chagas disease"     

  • Jo Chitty

NERC student - Genetic heterogeneity of Avian Malaria

  • Tricia Lunnes 

Laboratory manager

Visiting professor (UFRJ, Brazil) "Visualization of host cytoskeletal response during invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi"

  • Daniel Gaspar de Silva

Visiting scientist (UFSC, Brazil) "Molecular heterogeneity of Trichomonas gallinae"

  • Emma Barton

Wellcome vacation scholar "Molecular Epidemiology of pathogenic protozoa in a closed avian population"

  • Claire Butler

PhD student and Postdoctoral Fellow "Host cell response to invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi"

  • Maha Bouzid

PhD student and Postdoctoral Fellow "Virulence factors of anthroponotic Cryptosporidium"

  • Momodou Jobe

Research  Technician - "Establishing function of a MORN domain protein of Leishmania"

  • Guy Wheeler 

Post Doctoral Fellow  "Host/parasite interaction with Trypanosoma cruzi"

  • Audrey Dubourg

PhD Student: Giardia Trophozoite secreted proteins and their effects on intestinal epithelia 

  • Johanna Nader

PhD Student and Postdoctoral Fellow: Genetic Basis of Host Range and Virulence in Human Infective Cryptosporidium

  • Abdulwahed Alrefaei 

PhD Student: Impact of the genetic heterogeneity of Trichomonas gallinae on the molecular ecology of avian trichomonosis

  • Eden Ramalho

 Postdoctoral Fellow Cell Biology invasion and egress of trypanosomes and leishmanias

Administrative Posts

  • Biohazards and Genetically Modified Organisms Safety Committee
  • Course director MRes Clinical Science
  • Chair shared PGT exam board


  • Wolfson Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (University Safety Officer)
  • Wolfson Emerging Pathogens Laboratory Management Committee - Chair
  • Academic Director Intercalations and ACFs
  • Course director MSc Health Science
  • Academic Lead MBBS research project
  • Academic Lead Biochemistry (MBBS)
  • BMRC construction committee

Teaching Interests

I am interested in working to ensure that clinicians are able to understand the scope and limitations of  scientific research and are able to integrate research into their clinical careers. To this end I have manage provision of the short research project of the MB/BS and the intercalated MRes degree (the first of its kind in the UK). In the near future I hope to be able to offer some students the opportunity to pursue a seven year fully integrated MB/PhD program which at this time will be unique in the UK.

MRes Health Research

  • Course director and Academic Lead
  • PGT exam boards
  • EC Panels
  • Teaching Committee


  • SSS - Biochemistry - Yr 3.
  • MBBS teaching by lecture, seminar and tutorial. 
  • Advisor

BSc Biological Sciences/ BioMedicine

  • Parasitology lectures
  • Evolution in Health and Diseases lectures 


Academic Background

  • King's College, University of London, The Strand, London, UK. BSc 1990 Immunology and Molecular Biology
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel St, London, UK. MSc 1993 Applied Molecular Biology of Infectious Disease
  • University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK. PhD 1998 Biochemistry


Protozoan parasites cause many of the world's worst diseases and are amongst the greatest sources of suffering and death. Because most are restricted to the developing world, researching the biology of these organisms with a view to deriving effective drugs, vaccines and diagnostics has been long neglected. My research has been focussed on this group of organisms for many years and my group's research investigates the interactions between these organisms and their human host, and whether by elucidating and disrupting these interactions we can provide novel therapies.

In the fight against disease, I believe it is important that tomorrow's doctors are able to incorporate understanding and indeed practice of biomedical research into their treatment of disease; to understand the importance of the evidence base for the practice of modern medicine. For this reason at UEA I have worked to introduce a research project into the MBBS syllabus and an intercalated MRes course for those medical students wishing to pursue research actively during their medical careers. I hope to be able to offer an intercalated PhD course to medical students in the future.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Editor-in-Chief, Virulence, Taylor and Francis (UK)

22 Jul 2019 → …

Distinguished Adjunct Professor , King Abdulaziz University

1 Jun 2019 → …

Honorary General Secretary, British Society for Parasitology

30 Apr 201930 Apr 2021

Founder/Advisory Board/-Parasites & Vectors, BioMed Central

30 Dec 2004 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or