Professor Eleanor Riley BSc BVSc PhD FSB FMedSci

Professor of Immunology


Eleanor Riley graduated from Bristol University with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science. After an internship in Veterinary Pathology at Cornell University (USA) she studied for a PhD in immunology and parasitology in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Liverpool. She began working on the immunology of malaria in 1985, as a member of the senior scientific staff at the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia, West Africa. In 1990, Eleanor moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. Eleanor moved to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in October 1998 where she is Professor of Infectious Disease Immunology. Eleanor is currently Chair of the BBSRC Bioscience for Health Strategy Advisory Panel and Deputy Chair of the MRC Infections and Immunity Board.

Eleanor will be leaving the School in September 2017 to take up the post of Director of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh.




MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases - core immunology course, advanced immunology (memory) and parasite immunology (malaria).

MSc Medical Parasitology - core course, immunology of malaria.


Our work concentrates on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunity to infection, with a longstanding interest in anti-malarial immunity. We study the immunological consequences of malaria infection in endemic and non-endemic populations, conducting immuno-epidemiological studies of the relationship between defined immune responses and acquisition of clinically protective immunity, and relate these observations to data from experimental model systems and in vitro studies. We also conduct research oriented to the development and evaluation of anti-malarial vaccines.

A major aspect of our ongoing work is the immunobiology of Natural Killer cells.

Current projects include (i) the contribution of Natural Killer cells to the induction and effector phases of vaccine-induced immunity, (ii) mechanisms of activation of NK cells by malaria infected red blood cells, (iii) differentiation and maturation of NK cells in UK and African populations, (iv) immunobiology of myalgic encepahlitis/chronic fatiigue syndrome, (v) the relationship between asymptomatic malaria infections, neutrophil dysfunction and suceptibiluty to invasive bacterial infections.

Current collaborations include:

Research areas

  • Human genetics
  • Immunisation
  • Innate immunity
  • Parasites
  • Protozoa
  • T-cell immunology
  • Vaccines
  • Viruses


  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Immunoepidemiology
  • Immunology
  • Immunopathology
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
  • Vaccinology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Herpesviruses
  • Infectious disease
  • Malaria


  • Least developed countries: UN classification
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)


  • Gambia, The
  • Uganda
Back to top