Professor Eleanor Riley


of Immunology

Room 236

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

44 20 7927 2706

44 20 7637 4314

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.


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Immunology and Infection Department


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:

  • Imperial College, London: modelling of immune responses
  • Medical Research Council Laboratories, The Gambia: malaria immunology and responses to vaccination.
  • ICDR Kampala, Uganda: the immunology and seroepidemiology of malaria in areas of diverse malaria transmission.
Research Area
Human genetics
Innate immunity
T-cell immunology
Genetic epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Gambia, The
Least developed countries: UN classification
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

'Asymptomatic' Malaria: A Chronic and Debilitating Infection That Should Be Treated.
Chen, I.; Clarke, S.E.; Gosling, R.; Hamainza, B.; Killeen, G.; Magill, A.; O'Meara, W.; Price, R.N.; Riley, E.M.;
PLoS Med
Influenza Vaccination Generates Cytokine-Induced Memory-like NK Cells: Impact of Human Cytomegalovirus Infection.
Goodier, M.R.; Rodriguez-Galan, A.; Lusa, C.; Nielsen, C.M.; Darboe, A.; Moldoveanu, A.L.; White, M.J.; Behrens, R.; Riley, E.M.;
J Immunol
Immunogenicity of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine and implications for duration of vaccine efficacy: secondary analysis of data from a phase 3 randomised controlled trial
White, M.T.; Verity, R.; Griffin, J.T.; Asante, K.P.; Owusu-Agyei, S.; Greenwood, B.; Drakeley, C.; Gesase, S.; Lusingu, J.; Ansong, D.; Adjei, S.; Agbenyega, T.; Ogutu, B.; Otieno, L.; Otieno, W.; Agnandji, S.T.; Lell, B.; Kremsner, P.; Hoffman, I.; Martinson, F.; Kamthunzu, P.; Tinto, H.; Valea, I.; Sorgho, H.; Oneko, M.; Otieno, K.; Hamel, M.J.; Salim, N.; Mtoro, A.; Abdulla, S.; Aide, P.; Sacarlal, J.; Aponte, J.J.; Njuguna, P.; Marsh, K.; Bejon, P.; Riley, E.M.; Ghani, A.C.
Lancet Infectious Diseases
Dynamics of the antibody response to Plasmodium falciparum infection in African children.
White, M.T.; Griffin, J.T.; Akpogheneta, O.; Conway, D.J.; Koram, K.A.; Riley, E.M.; Ghani, A.C.;
J Infect Dis
Rapid natural killer cell differentiation in a population with near universal human cytomegalovirus infection is attenuated by NKG2C deletions.
Goodier, M.R.; White, M.J.; Darboe, A.; Nielsen, C.M.; Goncalves, A.; Bottomley, C.; Moore, S.E.; Riley, E.M.;
Prolonged Neutrophil Dysfunction after Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Is Related to Hemolysis and Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction.
Cunnington, A.J.; Njie, M.; Correa, S.; Takem, E.N.; Riley, E.M.; Walther, M.;
J Immunol
See all Professor Eleanor Riley's Publications