Immune cells within adipose tissue imaged using a confocal microscope

Microbes, Pathogens and Immunity

Members of this research group contribute to the cross-faculty research theme on Infectious Disease Transmission and Biology.

Immunology, Parasitology and Microbiology research

Our research develops understanding of the cell biology of protozoan parasites and yeast. This is important to medical parasitology, but also to exploiting micro-organisms as models of human cellular function. We also undertake research into viruses as well as prokaryotic and other eukaryotic micro-organisms.

In particular, we address:

  • the immune response towards microbes including bacteria of the human gut
  • tropical infectious diseases and their insect vectors
  • the evolution of viruses
  • environmental exposure to harmful micro-organisms

Alongside basic research into the properties of these microbial threats, we perform applied research into ways to combat their effects or control their transmission.



Dr Sarah Allinson: DNA repair in unicellular eukaryotic parasites

Professor Paul Bates: Host-parasite relationships in leishmaniasis

Dr Alexandre Benedetto: Gut host-bacteria interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans. Lab-on-chip techniques applied to microbiology.

Dr Fiona Benson: DNA repair in Trypanosomes

Dr Rod Dillon: Leishmania - Sand fly interactions; functional genomics of insect vectors; insect microbiology; microbial ecology

Dr Derek Gatherer: Bioinformatic analysis of viruses

Professor Gordon Hamilton: Chemical ecology of insect vectors; vector control; synthetic chemistry

Dr Lucy Jackson-Jones: Immunology of the thoracic cavity; filarial worm infection 

Dr Paul McKean: Molecular and cellular biology of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei

Dr Muhammad Munir: Virus pathobiology, viral antagonism, viral replication


Dr Jackie Parry: Freshwater protozoan-bacterial and viral-cyanobacterial interactions

Professor Roger Pickup: Role of non-tubercular mycobacteria in human disease

Dr Rachael Rigby: Human gut microbiota; cytokines; immunology; cancer biology

Dr Stephen Roberts: Regulation of ion transport in fungi and plants

Dr Nick Robinson: Archaeal DNA repair

Dr Mick Urbaniak: Signalling pathways in Trypanosoma brucei

Dr Leonie Unterholzner: Innate immunity, intracellular DNA recognition, viral DNA

Dr John Worthington: Human gut immunity, epithelial enteroendocrine cells

Dr Karen Wright: microbial interactions at the gut epithelium surface and the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the cannabinoid system