LSTM expands Parasitology Research Portfolio

Press release 5 Nov 2010
IgM binding to malarial antigen - Richard Pleass

Four key appointments have significantly boosted the parasitology research portfolio of LSTM, particularly in the area of neglected tropical diseases.  Professor Richard Pleass, Professor Phil Cooper and Dr Joe Turner joined the Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (MBP) Group over the summer, bringing new areas of expertise to the existing portfolio of parasitologists working on malaria and filariasis. They will be joined by Professor Russell Stothard next year who will expand LSTM’s Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases and research activities in schistosomiasis.

Richard joins us from the Institute of Genetics at the University of Nottingham and is currently investigating how the immune system can be better equipped to detect and destroy parasites, which cause diseases such as malaria.  Phil has moved to Liverpool from St. Georges Hospital, London and brings his extensive experience of helminth infections and field-based research in Ecuador to LSTM.  Joe returns to LSTM from the University of York’s Schistosomiasis research group to establish his own group in helminth immunopathology in Liverpool.

Professor Mark Taylor, Head of the MBP Group, said: “These four appointments significantly broaden our parasitology research and reinforces our commitment to fighting neglected tropical parasitic diseases (NTDs) with the best of the scientific talent from this field.  LSTM already hosts the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases and the A-WOL consortium, which is dedicated to finding new drugs to control lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and onchocerciasis (river blindness).  To attract some of the UK’s top research talent in this field consolidates our existing leadership in NTD research and advocacy and these appointments will help to move us towards being a leading global centre of research in NTDs.

“Next year we will be welcoming Professor Russell Stothard from the Natural History Museum who will further expand our research capabilities in schistosomiasis.  Russell will join the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases and will further bolster links with our group and the NTD community with his work on molecular epidemiology and field based parasitology.” 


For further information, please contact: 

Alan Hughes, Communications Manager
Office: +44 (0)151 705 3308
Mobile: +44 (0)7759 243969 

Notes to Editors

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been engaged in the fight against infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases for more than a hundred years and continues that tradition today with a research portfolio in excess of £159 million and a teaching programme attracting students from over 70 countries.