Marshall Lightowlers is Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council and Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at The University of Melbourne. His research career has focused on the immunology and molecular biology of taeniid cestode parasites. He was a member of a team of scientists which developed the first recombinant vaccine against a parasitic disease. Subsequently he has sought to development similar vaccines against infection with the larval stages of cestode parasites causing zoonotic infections in humans. This led to the development of highly effective, recombinant vaccines against cysticercosis in cattle and pigs caused by Taenia saginata and Taenia solium, respectively. In collaboration with researchers at Wallaceville New Zealand, he and his colleagues also produced a recombinant vaccine against infection with hydatid disease. The effectiveness of these vaccines makes them unique in helminth parasitology. The vaccines against Taenia solium and Echinococcus granulosus are now available as registered, commercially produced products. It is hoped that application of the vaccines will decrease transmission of the associated parasites and thereby reduce the number of new human cases of hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis. He has served as President of the Australian Society for Parasitology and has been awarded the society’s Bancroft-Mackerras Medal. He has been appointed Melbourne Laureate Professor in The University of Melbourne.
Cysticercosis, hydatid disease, anti-parasite vaccines
EG95 vaccine against cystic echinococcosis for prevention of hydatid disease in humans
TSOL18 vaccine against porcine cysticercosis for prevention of neurocysticercosis in humans