I am a qualified veterinarian, and have been involved in research on parasites of cattle for over 20 years, with a focus on African trypanosomes. While I started by studying the molecular biology of trypanosomes at the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow, I moved to the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, to facilitate an increased emphasis on studying the trypanosome species of most relevance to livestock disease (Trypanosoma congolense and T. vivax), and working with these trypanosomes in the clinically relevant bovine model. My research therefore mainly involves furthering our understanding of the infection biology of trypanosomes in the cow, and this includes studying the fundamental biology of these trypanosome species, which in turn is providing a route to identifying both drug and vaccine candidates.
Protozoan diseases of cattle, trypanosomes, Theileria, Cryptosporidium, pathogen diversity, host-pathogen interactions.
Current research projects include: (1) understanding the metabolism of T. congolense and how this relates to drug activity and resistance, (2) understanding the epidemiology of drug resistance in trypanosomiasis in Tanzania, (3) generating tools to enable functional genetics in T. congolense, (4) understanding trypanosome antigenic variation in the bovine host, (5) development of a small RNA as a diagnostic tool for trypanosomiasis, (6) vaccine candidate discovery in T. congolense, (7) understanding the bovine antibody response to trypanosomes and trypanosome antigens.
Current collaborators include the University of Glasgow, GALVmed, Clinglobal, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool, the Vector and Vector Borne Disease Institute (Tanzania), and the International Livestock Research Institute (Kenya). I am grateful to the funders that support my work (BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, BMGF, DFID, Roslin Technologies).