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Personal Statement

Our laboratory specialises in studying the interaction of the immune system with intracellular protozoan parasites, particularly Leishmania and Toxoplasma gondii. The use of cytokine, cytokine receptor, costimulatory molecule, and signaling molecule gene deficient mice is currently providing a very powerful tool in the analysis of immunoregulatory control of parasitic disease. We have recently further expanded our studies to utilize 2nd generation gene reporter as well as cytokine receptor tissue/cell specific knockouts. Of particular interest to our group is is the development of vaccines against these parasites using recombinant antigen preparations and gene deficient mutants. The development and characterisation of novel adjuvants for use with modern technology vaccines is a particular area of expertise within the group. The development of vaccine delivery formulations, which function as well as orally as they do parenterally is an area of top priority.

We have pioneered studies on the immunopathology of Toxoplasma gondii particularly in the central nervous system and characterised a laboratory model of congenital toxoplasmosis suitable for testing vaccines and chemotherapeutic agents. How these immune responses to parasite infection are influenced by gender and sex hormones is an area of particular interest.

Ongoing collaborations with the Universities of Glasgow, York, Birmingham, Cape Town, Lusanne and Chicago complement these studies.

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


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