Dr James LaCourse

Reader in Education, Director of Studies for Masters in Tropical Disease Biology Programmes, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

James moved to Liverpool in 2006 after several years at University of Wales, Aberystwyth following a BSc in Biochemistry, PhD studies and postdoctoral work investigating helminth Phase II detoxification enzymes via biochemical, RNAi and proteomic technologies.

James continued helminth detoxification studies within a major consortium of groups ranging from across Europe to South America, studying drug resistance of the globally distributed zoonotic liver fluke Fasciola hepatica before beginning a lectureship at the School of Veterinary Science at University of Liverpool.  With increasing interest in research-led education James joined LSTM in 2010 as Lecturer in Parasitology within the Education Dept. as the School embarked upon major development of learning and teaching in its aim to become an international leader in education.

James’ serves as Director of Studies for Masters programmes in the area of tropical disease biology, and, as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the Learning & Teaching, and Quality Management Committees, James’ main activities are explicitly linked to the strategic development of policy in relation to Learning and Teaching at LSTM.  James contributions to L&T were key in attainment of Independent Higher Education Institute (HEI) status, and Degree awarding Powers at LSTM.

James’ research interests encompass both field and laboratory approaches to the study of several parasites. Focusing upon helminths, James undertakes field work in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, to study helminth epidemiology, as well as employing molecular, biochemical and proteomic technologies at LSTM to investigate helminth epidemiology, detoxification, drug resistance, and establishment and maintenance of parasitic infection.

Alongside this focus, James supervises PhD students, provides academic leadership, facilitation and delivery of parasitology teaching at postgraduate and undergraduate levels as well as within a range of professional courses.  Within this role his aim is to drive forward the development and use of innovative teaching techniques and resources aimed at creating engagement, understanding and enthusiasm amongst students.

Externally from LSTM, James is an elected Council Member of the British Society for Parasitology (BSP), in the role of Honorary Meeting Secretary, supporting the organisation and delivery of the Societies annual conferences and meetings.  James also serves as an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) contact and representative for the BSP, as a member organisation of the Royal Society of Biology.  In addition, James is an Online Tutor for training of the diagnosis of parasitological diseases at eMEDICINimage education program, funded by the EU and aimed at continuing professional development for scientists working in clinical laboratories.  James is also a member of the Editorial Board for ‘Parasitology’ Journal, and reviews scientific papers and grant funding applications for arrange of journals and funding bodies.


James's specific involvement within LSTM’s teaching and learning portfolio is as follows:

• Director of Studies for MSc Degree Programmes:
• ‘Tropical Disease Biology’
• Module Convenor for the following MSc modules:
• TROP707 Human Parasitology & Vector Biology
• TROP714 Parasite Epidemiology & Control
• TROP705 Research Methods in Tropical Disease Biology
• TROP715 Applied Bioinformatics
• Lecturer on the following:
• professional courses
• Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
• Diploma in Tropical Nursing
• Short courses
• Laboratory Diagnosis of Faecal Parasites
• Laboratory Diagnosis of Blood & Faecal Parasites
• Tropical Pathogens & Disease Vectors for the Ministry of Defence

Selected publications

  • Recent Publications

    Alhassan, AndyMakepeace, Benjamin L.LaCourse, JamesOsei-Atweneboana, Mike Y. and Carlow, Clotilde K. S.(2014) 'A Simple Isothermal DNA Amplification Method to Screen Black Flies for Onchocerca volvulus Infection'.PLoS ONE, Vol 9, Issue 10, e108927.

    Morphew, Russell M.MacKintosh, NeilHart, Elizabeth H.Prescott, MarkLaCourse, E. James and Brophy, Peter M. (2014) 'In vitro biomarker discovery in the parasitic flatworm Fasciola hepatica for monitoring chemotherapeutic treatment'. EuPA Open Proteomics, Vol 3, pp. 85-99.

    Zafra, RPérez-Écija, R ABuffoni, LPacheco, I LMartínez-Moreno, ALaCourse, JamesPerally, SBrophy, P Mand Pérez, J (2013) 'Early hepatic and peritoneal changes and immune response in goats vaccinated with a recombinant glutathione transferase sigma class and challenged with Fasciola hepatica'. Research in Veterinary Science, Vol 94, Issue 3, pp. 602-609.

    Morphew, Russell MEccleston, NeilWilkinson, Toby JMcGarry, JohnPerally, SamirahPrescott, MarkWard, DeborahWilliams, DianaPaterson, SteveRaman, MRavikumar, GKhalid Saifullah, MAbbas Abidi, S M,McVeigh, PaulMaule, Aaron GBrophy, Peter M and LaCourse, James (2012) 'Proteomics and in silico approaches to extend understanding of the glutathione transferase superfamily of the tropical liver fluke Fasciola gigantica'.Journal of Proteome Research, Vol 11, Issue 12, pp. 5876-5889.

    Howell, AlisonMugisha, LawrenceDavies, JulietLaCourse, E JamesClaridge, JenniferWilliams, Diana J L,Kelly-Hope, LouiseBetson, MarthaKabatereine, Narcis B and Stothard, J Russell (2012) 'Bovine fasciolosis at increasing altitudes: parasitological and malacological sampling on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Uganda.'. Parasites and Vectors, Vol 5, p. 196.

    Selected recent publications

    Morphew RM, MacKintosh N, Hart EH, Prescott M, LaCourse EJ, Brophy PM. (2014). In vitro Biomarker Discovery in the Parasitic Flatworm Fasciola hepatica for Monitoring Chemotherapeutic Treatment. EuPA Open Proteomics.  3: 85-99.  Available online 12 March 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euprot.2014.02.013

    Zafra R, Pérez-Écija RA, Buffoni L, Pacheco IL, Martínez-Moreno A, LaCourse EJ, Perally S, Brophy PM, Pérez José. (2012) Early Hepatic and Peritoneal Changes and Immune Response in Goats Vaccinated with a Recombinant Glutathione Transferase Sigma Class and Challenged with Fasciola hepatica.  Research in Veterinary Science.  doi:pii: S0034-5288(12)00329-3. 10.1016/

    Morphew RM,  Eccleston N, Wilkinson TJ, McGarry J, Perally S, Prescott M, Ward D, Williams D, Paterson S, Raman M, Ravikumar G, Saifullah MK, Abbas Abidi SM, McVeigh P, Maule AG, Brophy PM & LaCourse EJ. (2012). Proteomics and in silico Approaches to extend understanding of the Glutathione Transferase Superfamily of the Tropical Liver Fluke Fasciola giganticaJournal of Proteome Research. 11(12):5876-89. doi: 10.1021/pr300654w. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

    Howell A, Mugisha L, Davies J, LaCourse EJ, Claridge J, Williams DJ, Kelly-Hope L, Betson M, Kabatereine NB, Stothard JR. (2012). Bovine fasciolosis at increasing altitudes: Parasitological and malacological sampling on the slopes of Mount Elgon, Uganda. Parasites & Vectors. 5:196. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-196.

    LaCourse EJ*, Perally S, Morphew RM, Moxon JV, Prescott M, Dowling DJ, O'Neill SM, Kipar A, Hetzel U, Hoey E, Zafra R, Buffoni L, Pérez Arévalo J, Brophy PM. (2012). The Sigma class glutathione transferase from the liver fluke Fasciola hepaticaPLoS Negl Trop Dis. 6(5). e1666. Epub 2012 May 29.
    *Corresponding Author

    Millares P, LaCourse EJ, Perally S, Ward DA, Prescott MC, Hodgkinson JE, Brophy PM, Rees HH. (2012). Proteomic profiling and protein identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in unsequenced parasitic nematodes. PLoS One. 7(3). e33590. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

    Morphew RM, Wright HA, LaCourse EJ, Porter J, Barrett J, Woods DJ, Brophy PM. (2011). Towards delineating functions within the Fasciola secreted cathepsin l protease family by integrating in vivo based sub-proteomics and phylogenetics. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 5(1): e937.

    Chemale G, Perally S, LaCourse EJ*, Prescott MC, Jones LM, Ward D, Meaney M, Hoey E, Brennan GP, Fairweather I, Trudgett A, Brophy PM. (2010). Comparative proteomic analysis of triclabendazole response in the liver fluke Fasciola hepaticaJ Proteome Res. 9(10):4940-51.
    *Joint First Author and Corresponding Author

    Jones LM, Staffa K, Perally S, LaCourse EJ, Brophy PM, Hamilton JV. (2010). Proteomic analyses ofCaenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae and long-lived daf-2 mutants implicates a shared detoxification system in longevity assurance. J Proteome Res. 9(6):2871-81.

    Moxon JV, LaCourse EJ, Wright HA, Perally S, Prescott MC, Gillard JL, Barrett J, Hamilton JV, Brophy PM. (2010). Proteomic analysis of embryonic Fasciola hepatica: characterization and antigenic potential of a developmentally regulated heat shock protein. Vet Parasitol. 169(1-2):62-75. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

    Dowling DJ, Hamilton CM, Donnelly S, LaCourse J, Brophy PM, Dalton J, O'Neill SM. (2010). Major secretory antigens of the helminth Fasciola hepatica activate a suppressive dendritic cell phenotype that attenuates Th17 cells but fails to activate Th2 immune responses. Infect Immun. 78(2):793-801. Epub 2009 Nov 16.

    LaCourse EJ*, Hernandez-Viadel M, Jefferies JR, Svendsen C, Spurgeon DJ, Barrett J, Morgan AJ, Kille P, Brophy PM. (2009). Glutathione transferase (GST) as a candidate molecular-based biomarker for soil toxin exposure in the earthworm Lumbricus rubellusEnviron Pollut. 157(8-9):2459-69. Epub 2009 Apr 

    *Corresponding Author

    Perally S, LaCourse EJ, Campbell AM, Brophy PM. (2008). Heme transport and detoxification in nematodes: subproteomics evidence of differential role of glutathione transferases. J Proteome Res. 7(10):4557-65. Epub 2008 Aug 23.

    LaCourse EJ*, Perally S, Hernandez-Viadel M, Wright HA, Brophy PM. (2008). A proteomics approach to quantify protein levels following RNA interference: case study with glutathione transferase superfamily from the model metazoan Caenorhabditis elegansJ Proteome Res. 7(8):3314-8. Epub 2008 Jun 27.

    Morphew RM, Wright HA, LaCourse EJ, Woods DJ, Brophy PM. (2007). Comparative proteomics of excretory-secretory proteins released by the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in sheep host bile and during in vitro culture ex host. Mol Cell Proteomics. 6(6):963-72. Epub 2007 Feb 17.

    Chemale G, Morphew R, Moxon JV, Morassuti AL, LaCourse EJ, Barrett J, Johnston DA, Brophy PM. (2006). Proteomic analysis of glutathione transferases from the liver fluke parasite, Fasciola hepaticaProteomics. 6(23):6263-73.

    Morgan C, LaCourse EJ, Rushbrook BJ, Greetham D, Hamilton JV, Barrett J, Bailey K, Brophy PM. (2006). Plasticity demonstrated in the proteome of a parasitic nematode within the intestine of different host strains.Proteomics. 6(16):4633-45.

    van Rossum AJ, Jefferies JR, Rijsewijk FA, LaCourse EJ, Teesdale-Spittle P, Barrett J, Tait A, Brophy PM. (2004). Binding of hematin by a new class of glutathione transferase from the blood-feeding parasitic nematodeHaemonchus contortusInfect Immun. 72(5):2780-90