Professor Hilary Ranson

Professor of Medical Entomology , Dean of Research Culture and Integrity

Hilary joined LSTM in 2001 as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. She served as Head of the Department of Vector Biology from 2010-2019 and was appointed as LSTM’s first Dean for Research Culture and Integrity in 2021.
Following degrees from the University of York, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Cardiff University, she has spent time working in the US (University of Notre Dame and Harvard University) and Imperial College London. She has supported the work of the World Health Organisation, serving as a technical advisor and a member of the Vector Control Advisory Group (2017-2023) and the Product Development Partnership IVCC as a member of the External Scientific Advisory Committee. Hilary is a Board Member of the Pan African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA).

Hilary’s research team study methods to improve the controlof mosquito vectors of human disease.  She has a particular interest in the causes and consequences of insecticide resistance and her group have been using a variety of bioassay and molecular approaches to study the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes.


Hilary has coordinated several interdisciplinary projects in vector control including the European Union FP7 collaborative project, AvecNet from 2010-2016 (AvecNet EU) and the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award ‘Malaria in Insecticide Resistant Africa (MIRA) from 2016-2019 and the Partnership for Increasing the Impact of Vector Control (PIIVeC) (2018-2021). Current research projects include:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Funded ESSENTIALs project is developing entomological indicators to assess the performance of new classes of insecticide treated nets. Utilising a range of benchtop and field assays the project is evaluating the entomological efficacy of the new classes of insecticide treated nets against different mosquito populations in Benin, Burkina Faso and Tanzania. Working with Imperial College, the project will test whether a combination of entomological evaluation and mathematical modelling can predict the public health benefit of alternative classes of nets in different ecological and epidemiological settings.

The role of Chemosensory Proteins in Insecticide Resistance
We recently discovered a highly potent pyrethroid resistance mechanism in African Anopheles mosquitoes. An increase in the expression of a class of small proteins normally involved in chemical communications (and hence termed chemosensory proteins) in the legs of the mosquito acts as a sponge, absorbing the pyrethroid insecticides as it enters the mosquito via contact with the bednet. One specific member of this protein family, SAP2, is of key importance: mosquitoes that have elevated levels of SAP2 have a much greater chance of surviving pyrethroid exposure and, if we stop the mosquitoes producing this protein, this pyrethroid resistance largely disappears. With funding from BBSRC we are now establishing exactly how increases in expression of this SAP2 protein plays such a pivotal role in pyrethroid resistance and screening for inhibitors that could be used as synergists to break this resistance mechanism.

Liverpool Insect Testing Establishment (LITE)
The Liverpool Insect Testing Establishment provides a professional service to screen new vector control products against insecticide resistant populations of mosquitoes. LITE maintains a range of insecticide susceptible and resistant colonies of mosquitoes, many unique to LSTM, and offers a number of alternative protocols for insecticide efficacy testing. In 2022, LITE became a founding member of a new LSTM spinout, iiDiagnostics.


Hilary participates in the teaching of the Masters programmes in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors and Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors, and is module convenor for the 3rd year BSc module in Vector Biology.

Memberships and related roles

Hilary is on the Editorial Board of Insect Molecular Biology and Medical and Veterinary Entomology and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Selected publications

  • Ingham VA, Anthousi A, Douris V, Harding NJ, Lycett G, Morris M, et al. A sensory appendage protein protects malaria vectors from pyrethroids. Nature. 2020;577(7790):376-+.

    Ingham, VA, Grigoraki, L and Ranson, H 'Pyrethroid resistance mechanisms in the major malaria vector species complex. Entomologia Generalis, 2023 Vol 43, Issue 3, pp. 515-526.

    Gleave K, Lissenden N, Richardson M, Choi L, Ranson H. Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) combined with pyrethroids in insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria in Africa. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2018(11).

    Tiono AB, Ouedraogo A, Ouattara D, Bougouma EC, Coulibaly S, Diarra A, et al. Efficacy of Olyset Duo, a bednet containing pyriproxyfen and permethrin, versus a permethrin-only net against clinical malaria in an area with highly pyrethroid-resistant vectors in rural Burkina Faso: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2018;392(10147):569-80.

    Churcher TS, Lissenden N, Griffin JT, Worrall E and Ranson H 2016, The impact of pyrethroid resistance on the efficacy and effectiveness of bednets for malaria control in Africa. E-Life pii: e16090