The Department of Infection Biology integrates laboratory-based and informatics sciences to understand the fundamental basis of infectious disease biology, pathogenesis and immunity to drive discovery of new interventions, drugs and vaccines against major global health problems. This brings together scientists using cutting edge technologies from molecular genetics, glycoengineering, immunology, genomics and imaging at the micro and macroscopic scales. This also includes the ability to perform, within our department, discovery science on a wide variety of pathogens, vector hosts, humans and animal models (mosquitoes, zebrafish, mouse) that require specific levels of regulatory containment, including globally important pathogens, such as:
- Bacteria: Shigella flexneri, Shigella sonnei, Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium leprae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Vibrio cholera, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridioides difficile, Francisella tularensis, Helicobacter pylori, Haemophilus parasuis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus suis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.
- Parasites: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium berghei, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Leishmania donovani, Leishmania aethiopica, Schistosoma mansoni, Strongyloides stercoralis
- Viruses: SARS-CoV-2, bluetongue virus, African horse sickness virus, dengue virus, Zika virus, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, arenaviruses, enteroviruses, norovirus, influenza, rotavirus.
Our research centres on determining the fundamental molecular mechanisms of infection, deciphering the genetic diversity of these microorganisms in natural populations, understanding how innate and adaptive immune responses are generated against these pathogens, and how they avoid immune defences. Collaborating with partners worldwide, we strive to advance knowledge and understanding of these pathogens as well as developing practical applications including improved diagnostic tests, surveillance systems for tracking the dynamic epidemiology and emergence of these pathogens, and the identification and characterisation of vaccine candidates and drug targets.
Publications by department staff can be viewed in the School’s online repository.