Dr Michael Lewis


Assistant Professor

Rm 390

Keppel Street
United Kingdom


I obtained a BSc in Genetics in 2002 and an MSc in Medical Molecular Microbiology in 2004, both from the University of Nottingham. I later completed my PhD and early post-doctoral work on the genetics and evolution of Trypanosoma cruzi in Michael Miles' lab at LSHTM. I then undertook further post-doctoral work in John Kelly's lab where I developed bioluminescence in vivo imaging systems for T. cruzi. In 2014 I was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship and moved to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA to work with David Sacks on the pathogenesis of visceral leishmaniasis.

Since returning to LSHTM in 2016 I have continued to study host-parasite interactions and chronic disease pathogenesis. I am Principal Investigator on an MRC funded project that aims to discover the mechanisms of parasite persistence and disease pathogenesis in digestive Chagas disease.


Department of Infection Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases


I am involved in teaching across several of LSHTM's London-based MSc courses. I am deputy module organiser for 3160 (MBID:Research Progress & Applications) and DL203 (Parasitology) on the MSc Infectious Diseases by distance learning programme.


Three of the most important neglected infectious diseases, Human African Trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis are caused by parasites from the protozoan order Trypanosomatida: Trypanosoma brucei, T. cruzi and Leishmania sp. respectively. These parasites are all able to establish long-term chronic infections in people resulting in a wide range of outcomes from death and severe morbidity to more mild forms and subclinical carrier states.

We are studying these parasites and the host-parasite relationships from several complementary perspectives: How did they evolve? What are the genetic and environmental factors that determine infection outcomes and disease severity? How can we use our understanding of them to discover new and better treatments?

Currently our main focus is the pathogenesis of digestive forms of Chagas disease. We are using experimental models of T. cruzi infection to study how this parasite establishes and maintains a chronic reservoir in the GI tract and the associated impact on the enteric nervous system. We are using this model to evaluate the efficacy of new treatments as part of drug discovery programmes for Chagas disease.



Selected Publications

Assessing the Effectiveness of Curative Benznidazole Treatment in Preventing Chronic Cardiac Pathology in Experimental Models of Chagas Disease.
Francisco AF; Jayawardhana S; Taylor MC; Lewis MD; Kelly JM
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Imaging the development of chronic Chagas disease after oral transmission.
Lewis MD; Francisco AF; Jayawardhana S; Langston H; Taylor MC; Kelly JM
Scientific reports
Development of Trypanosoma cruzi in vitro assays to identify compounds suitable for progression in Chagas' disease drug discovery.
MacLean LM; Thomas J; Lewis MD; Cotillo I; Gray DW; De Rycker M
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Host and parasite genetics shape a link between Trypanosoma cruzi infection dynamics and chronic cardiomyopathy.
Lewis MD; Francisco AF; Taylor MC; Jayawardhana S; Kelly JM
Cellular microbiology
Putting Infection Dynamics at the Heart of Chagas Disease.
Lewis MD; Kelly JM
Trends in parasitology
Molecular Diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi Detected in the Vector Triatoma protracta from California, USA.
Shender LA; Lewis MD; Rejmanek D; Mazet JAK
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Genome and phylogenetic analyses of Trypanosoma evansi reveal extensive similarity to T. brucei and multiple independent origins for dyskinetoplasty.
Carnes J; Anupama A; Balmer O; Jackson A; Lewis M; Brown R; Cestari I; Desquesnes M; Gendrin C; Hertz-Fowler C
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Limited Ability of Posaconazole To Cure both Acute and Chronic Trypanosoma cruzi Infections Revealed by Highly Sensitive In Vivo Imaging.
Francisco AF; Lewis MD; Jayawardhana S; Taylor MC; Chatelain E; Kelly JM
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Bioluminescence imaging of chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infections reveals tissue-specific parasite dynamics and heart disease in the absence of locally persistent infection.
Lewis MD; Fortes Francisco A; Taylor MC; Burrell-Saward H; McLatchie AP; Miles MA; Kelly JM
Cellular microbiology
Recent, independent and anthropogenic origins of Trypanosoma cruzi hybrids.
Lewis MD; Llewellyn MS; Yeo M; Acosta N; Gaunt MW; Miles MA
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Genotyping of Trypanosoma cruzi: systematic selection of assays allowing rapid and accurate discrimination of all known lineages.
Lewis MD; Ma J; Yeo M; Carrasco HJ; Llewellyn MS; Miles MA
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Genome-scale multilocus microsatellite typing of Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing unit I reveals phylogeographic structure and specific genotypes linked to human infection.
Llewellyn MS; Miles MA; Carrasco HJ; Lewis MD; Yeo M; Vargas J; Torrico F; Diosque P; Valente V; Valente SA
PLoS pathogens
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