What we work on
Our group is made up of epidemiologists, immunologists, mathematical biologists, molecular biologists and medics who all bring their expertise to advance current understanding of schistosomiasis; the parasites, the hosts, the infection and the disease. Our ultimate goal is to inform schistosome control and help improve the overall health of people living in schistosome endemic areas.
We have strong collaborative links in Africa, where all our fieldwork is conducted.
Watch this short movie in which Francisca explains what we do:
We are also interested in factors affecting the nature and development of schistosome-acquired immunity and these include exposure patterns, history of infection, history of helminth treatment and history of co-infection with other parasites. We have been characterising human acquired responses; humoral and cellular (effector, regulatory and natural killer T cell responses) and testing several hypotheses on how these relate to susceptibility or resistance to infection/re-infection.
Member of the Global Health Academy, The University of EdinburghWe also study the parasite biology; characterising antigens presented by the different developmental stages of the parasite through proteomic, immunomic and genomic studies. Our studies are relevant to helminth biology, control (vaccine and drug development), and public health. Ultimately we are using the human-schistosome system as a model system for answering questions on schistosome population biology and host-parasite co-evolution.