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.

For my webpages click here

For my publications click here


Career History

  • 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

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

Key Research Interests

Cellular Microbiology

We are investigating the way in which Trypanosoma cruzi is able to manipulate host cardiomyoctes to facilitate invasion and for intercellular survival. Our approach is primarily by real-time fluorescence microscopy of host/fluorescent protein chimaeras and fluorescent probes and by use of molecular and chemical intervention.

Trypanosome Cell Biology

We are investigating the requirements and mechanism of cytological change in trypanosomes; in particular, the roles of cytoskeleton and membrane rafts.

Parasite Virulence

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


We thank the Wellcome Foundation, The European Commission (, CAPES CNPq, John and Pamela Salter Trust, The Wolfson Foundation and the University of East Anglia for support.

Laboratory Web Pages

For more on what we do visit our Lab web pages

For our publications click here

Research Group Membership


  • Claire Butler

PhD student "Host cell response to invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi"

PhD student "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"

  • Jasmine Waters

Laboratory and Floor Manager                                                                                                                                           


  • 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"

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/ MBPhD/ Intercalation

  • Course director and Academic Lead
  • Unit 1 The Research Module
  • Unit 2 The Development Plan and Reflective report


  • Theme and domain lead - Biochemistry
  • Exam Board
  • MBBS teaching by lecture, seminar and tutorial. 
  • PBL tutor and advisor.

BSc Biological Sciences/ BioMedicine

  • Lecturer - Parasitology course.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • External lecture: Infection and Immunity Seminar, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2003)
  • External lecture: Seminars in Life Sciences, Finch University Medical School, Chicago II (2003)
  • External lecture: Brazilian Society of Protozoology, Keynote, Caxambu, Brazil (2004)
  • External lecture: Cambridge Parasitology Seminar Series, Dept. of Pathology, Cambridge (2004)
  • External lecture: Drugs and Bugs Symposium, John Innes Center, Norwich (2004)
  • External lecture: Microbes in Norwich, Institute of Food Research (2004)
  • External lecture: Lecture to the Pasteur Institute, Paris "Trypanosome Flagellum Meeting" (2006)
  • External lecture: Invitee international workshop on eukaryotic microbiology, Lincoln College, Oxford (2007)
  • External lecture: Lecture to Norwich Medico-Chirurgical Society (2007)
  • Extracurricular lecture: Lecture to joint Cell and Molecular Sectors of BIO (2003)
  • Extracurricular lecture: Lecture to Cell Biology Sector (2004)
  • Extracurricular lecture: Lecture to Ecology and Conservation Group (2004)
  • Lecture to Center for Intraprofessional Mathematical Research (2006)
  • Lecture to BMRC forum (2006)
  • Conference presentation: Tri-Tryp Meeting, Sanger Centre, Hinxton. (2003) Poster
  • Conference presentation: British Society of Parasitology, Chester College, University of Liverpool (2004) Poster
  • Conference presentation: Brazilian Society of Protozoology, Caxambu, Brazil (2004). 2 oral by self and by a co-author
  • Conference presentations: Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Host Pathogen Interactions, Sanger Center, Hinxton (2004) Poster.
  • Conference presentation: Brazilian Society of Protozoology, Caxambu, Brazil (2005) 2 presentations. Talk and poster presented by co-authors.
  • Conference presentation: International Conference on Parasitology (ICOPAXI). Talk, rafts and microtubules in cell invasion

Professional Activities

  • World Class Parasities Volume VII: American Trypanosomiasis Ed. K.M. Tyler and M. Miles. Series Ed. J.R. Seed and S. Black. Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • International Journal for Parasitology April 2001, Special Issue. Guest Eds: A.M.R. Davila and K.M. Tyler. Ed. A. Johnson. Elsevier Science Ltd., on behalf of the Australian Society of Parasitology Inc.
  • Organizer and Chair, Workshop ICOPA XI - 2006 "Host response to cell invasion."
  • Organizer and publisher, The Kinetoplastid Internet Symposium - 2002
  • Organizer and publisher, The Third Internet Conference on Salivarian Trypasosomes and Trypanosomatids - 2000.
  • Advisory Board Member Parasites and Vectors. BioMedCentral Ltd., Current Science Group
  • Editor in Chief, Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease 2004-2008

Administrative Posts

  • Wolfson Emerging Pathogens Laboratory Safety Officer
  • Wolfson Emerging Pathogens Laboratory Management Committee - Chair
  • Biological Sciences and BMRC Safety Committee
  • Biohazards and Genetically Modified Organisms Safety Committee