I was awarded a D.Phil. degree by the University of Oxford in July 2004. Subsequently, I obtained a three-year Postdoctoral Prize Fellowship at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, during which I established a research portfolio centred on the use of comparative genomics to identify the genetic mechanisms of disease. In 2012 I joined the University of Liverpool leading a research group examining the molecular evolution of parasites to understand the mechanisms of parasitism, and to develop new ways of preventing parasitic disease.
My research concerns the evolution of parasitism. I use genomics and other systems-data to test evolutionary ideas within a comparative method, with three aims: • Origins. Using comparative genomics to reveal the evolutionary changes that led to parasitism in Kinetoplastids, Stramenopiles, Amoebae and Trichomonads. • Innovations. Using comparative and functional approaches to identify the species-specific mechanisms by which parasites cause disease, with applications in cell biology, and pathogenesis. • Applications. Applying our knowledge of how parasite genomes evolve in antigen discovery, reverse vaccinology, disease epidemiology and other approaches.