Dr Sam Willcocks


Research Fellow

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

After completing my PhD at the Royal Veterinary College where I studied comparative innate immunity between species, I joined LSHTM in 2008 for my first post-doc. Working with Prof Ulrich Schaible, I investigated host-pathogen interactions in tuberculosis infection, particularly the role of cell wall lipids and antimicrobial peptides. I currently continue with my antimicrobial peptide research with Prof Brendan Wren as well as determining virulence factors in Burkholderia pseudomallei and other bacteria. Our ongoing work is contributing to the development of new vaccines and antibiotics against globaly important infectious diseases.


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Department of Infection Biology


Tuberculosis (TB) Centre
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


Distance Learning Tutor

Lecturer in Burkholderia sp. virulence factors and cell biology practical classes

MSc Supervisor

PhD supervisor




* Willcocks S, Stabler R, Atkins H, Oyston P and Wren BW, ‘High throughput analysis of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis gene essentiality in optimised in vitro conditions, and implications for the speciation of Y. pestis’ BMC Microbiology, May 2018

* Pinweha P, Pumirat P, Cuccui J, Jitprasutwit N, Muangsombut V, Srinon V, Boonyuen U, Thiennimitr P, Vattanaviboon P, Cia F, Willcocks S, Bancroft GJ, Wren BW, Korbsrisate S. ‘Inactivation of bpsl1039-1040 ATP-binding cassette transporter reduces intracellular survival in macrophages, biofilm formation and virulence in the murine model of Burkholderia pseudomallei infection.’ PLoS One, May 2018

  • Patin E, Geffken A, Willcocks S, Leschczyk C, Haas A, Nimmerjahn F, Lang R, Ward T and Schaible U, ‘Trehalose dimycolate interferes with FcγR-mediated phagosome maturation through Mincle, SHP-1 and FcγRIIB signalling’, PLoS One, April 2017
  • Polycarpou A, Holland M, Karageorgious I, Eddaoudi A, Walker S, Willcocks S, Lockwood D, ‘Mycobacterium leprae Activates Toll-Like Receptor-4 Signaling and Expression on Macrophages Depending on Previous Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Vaccination’ Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, July 2016
  • Patin E, Willcocks S, Orr S, Ward T, Lang R, Schaible U, ‘Mincle mediated anti-inflammatory IL-10 response counter regulates IL-12 in vitro’ Innate Immunity, Feb 2016
  • Willcocks S, Denman C, Atkins H, Wren B ‘Intracellular Replication of the Well-Armed Pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei’ Current Opinions in Microbiology, Jan 2016
  • Moule M, Spink N, Willcocks S, Lim J, Guerra-Assuncao A, Cia F, Champion O, Senior N, Atkins H, Clark T, Bancroft G, Cuccui J, Wren B ‘Characterisation of New Virulence Factors Involved in the Intracellular Growth and Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei’ Infection and Immunity, Dec 2015
  • Willcocks S, Stabler R, Wren B ‘More Signal, Less Noice: Single Primer Adenylation Method for the Efficient Preparation of DNA for Transposon Sequencing’ BioArchive Dec 2014
  • Willcocks S and Wren B ‘Shared Characteristics Between M. tuberculosis and Fungi Contribute to Virulence’ Future Microbiology (9) 657-668, 2014
  • Willcocks S, Offord V, Seyfert H, Coffey T, Werling D, 'Species-specific PAMP Recognition by TLR2 and Evidence for Species-Restricted Interaction with Dectin-1' Jounral of Leukocyte Biology 94(3) 449-458, 2013   
  • Yamakawa Y, Pennelegion C, Willcocks S, Stalker A, Machugh N, Burt D, Coffey TJ, Werling D 'Identification and Functional Characterisation of a Bovine Orthologue to DC-SIGN' Journal of Leukocyte Biology 83(6) 1396-403 2008
  • Willcocks S et al ‘Identification and Gene Expression of the Bovine C-Type Lectin, Dectin-1’ Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 113:234-42 2006
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Research Area
Drug discovery and development
Drug resistance
Innate immunity
Cell biology
Molecular biology
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Pandemic diseases
Emerging Infectious Disease
Respiratory disease
Tropical diseases

Selected Publications

Inactivation of bpsl1039-1040 ATP-binding cassette transporter reduces intracellular survival in macrophages, biofilm formation and virulence in the murine model of Burkholderia pseudomallei infection.
Pinweha, P. ; Pumirat, P. ; Cuccui, J. ; Jitprasutwit, N. ; Muangsombut, V. ; Srinon, V. ; Boonyuen, U. ; Thiennimitr, P. ; Vattanaviboon, P. ; Cia, F. ; Willcocks, S. ; Bancroft, G.J. ; Wren, B.W. ; Korbsrisate, S. ;
PLoS One
Intracellular replication of the well-armed pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Willcocks, S.J. ; Denman, C.C. ; Atkins, H.S. ; Wren, B.W. ;
Curr Opin Microbiol
Characterization of new virulence factors involved in the intracellular growth and survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Moule, M.G. ; Spink, N. ; Willcocks, S. ; Lim, J. ; Guerra-Assunção, J.A. ; Cia, F. ; Champion, O. ; Senior, N. ; Atkins, H.S. ; Clark, T. ; Bancroft, G.J. ; Cuccui, J. ; Wren, B.W. ;
Infect Immun
See all Dr Sam Willcocks's Publications