Professor John Kelly BSc PhD

Head of PMBD and Professor of Molecular Biology and Head of Department

John Kelly's Background

Research area: The molecular biology of parasitic protozoa

My lab focuses on four main areas:

Funding: The Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

John Kelly's Affiliation

John Kelly's Teaching

As part of the Masters course 'Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases', I teach on a 5 week study module entitled 'Advanced Training in Molecular Biology' . The module is built round an appropriate central research theme and offers training in laboratory skills, bioinformatics and scientific writing.

John Kelly's Research

  The parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei are responsible for two major tropical infections, Chagas disease and African trypanosomiasis, respectively. These diseases represent a major public health problem in regions of the world least able to deal with the associated economic burden. Advances by ourselves and others have led to the development of a wide range of genetic tools that can be used to address fundamental biological questions associated with these important pathogens. In addition, the recent completion of the trypanosomatid genome projects, together with major advances in imaging technology, is providing a research framework where rapid progress can be expected. We are exploiting these new approaches and opportunities to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms of drug action and resistance, disease pathogenesis and genome inheritance. In collaboration with biologists, biochemists and organic chemists, we have validated a number of parasite drug targets and identified several lead compounds that show promise in terms of therapeutic development. This multidisciplinary approach, which brings together of both academic and industrial partners, is now widely seen as the way ahead to provide better treatments for these previously ‘Neglected Diseases’.




Research areas

  • Drug discovery and development
  • Drug resistance
  • Parasites
  • Trypanosomes


  • Biochemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Genomics
  • Molecular biology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • African trypanosomiasis
  • Chagas Disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Tropical diseases


  • Latin America & Caribbean (developing only)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)


  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Venezuela, RB
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