Dr Helena Helmby
I completed my PhD at Stockholm University in 1998. The subject of my thesis work was various aspects of immune regulation during malaria infection. I then moved to Manchester University where I studied T cell regulation and development of mucosal immunity during intestinal nematode infections. I moved to LSHTM in 2002 on a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship followed by a RCUK Fellowship in Helminth Immunology and a Lectureship in 2011.
I am the Programme Director for MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM, and the module organiser for the Term 1 Immunology of Infectious Diseases module (3120) and the Immunology of Parasitic Infection module (3177). My teaching activities include various aspects of general and applied immunology but I also teach helminthology on the Medical Parasitology (including the field course) and Tropical Medicine and International Health MSc's. I also teach on the DTM&H course. In addition, l guest lecture at various other UK universities both at undergraduate and post graduate level.
My main research interests are centered around the effects of helminth infections on the immune system. Schistosomiasis and intestinal dwelling nematodes are amongst the most common infections of man and approximately one in three of the world's population harbours at least one species and most infections are in low income countries. Helminth infections are recognized as one of the world’s most important causes of physical and intellectual growth retardation in children. An understanding of helminth-induced immune activation is essential for the development of vaccines that can stimulate protective immunity while avoiding pathological consequences. The main focus of my work is to increase our understanding of mechanisms of immune regulation and resistance and how chronic worm infections may alter immune responses to unrelated infections.