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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Evolution is a key aspect of the biology of many pathogens, driving processes ranging from immune escape to changes in virulence.

Pathogens exhibit remarkable abilities to out-manoeuvre therapeutic intervention. This outcome is driven by evolution, either as a direct response to intervention (e.g. the evolution of antibiotic resistance), or through long-term co-evolution generating host or parasite traits that interact with therapy in undesirable or unpredictable ways. To make progress, here at Cambridge our researchers are integrating the concepts and techniques of evolutionary biology with traditional approaches to immunology and pathogen biology. An interdisciplinary approach can inform control strategies, or even patient treatment, positioning us to meet the current and future challenges of controlling infectious diseases.

Explore Campus 

Research groups are found across several university departments and local research institutes, and include:

Emergency medicine doctor
Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
Dr James  Ajioka
Department of Pathology
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Parasitology
T. gondii genome sequence information to investigate basic properties of the host-parasite interaction.
Principal Investigator, MRC Career Development Award
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like pathways in malaria and other parasites
Research assistant at CIMR, Salje's group.
Dr Abiyad  Baig
I am interested in studying the microbial pathogenesis, evolution and diversity using genomics and bioinformatics tools.
Dr Stephen  Baker
Department of Medicine, CITIID.
Molecular microbiologist; enteric infections in developing countries with an emphasis on Norovirus, Shigella spp. and Salmonella Typhi.
Principal Investigator at The Bakery, Department of Genetics
Postdoctoral Fellow, Parasites and Microbes Programme, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Molecular Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Phylogenetics, Phylodynamics, Molecular/Genomic Epidemiology, Genomic Surveillance. Sexually Transmitted Infections, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Global Health.
 Katherine   Bellis
Research Assistant, Clinical School
I work on elucidating the basis of S. aureus carriage in the human nasopharynx.
Professor Stephen  Bentley
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Genomics of bacterial pathogenesis with a particular focus on pneumonia and meningitis
Postdoctoral Researcher, Baker Lab, Department of Genetics
What I do: Analysis of AMR emergence in Shigella population through genomics and statistical modelling
Research Interests: Genomic epidemiology and evolution of pathogens. Statistical modeling, software development for outbreak reconstruction.
Professor Sir Tom  Blundell
Department of Biochemistry
Structural biology, bioinformatics and drug discovery
PhD Student at the Department of Biochemistry
Biofilm regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Dr Ian  Brierley
Department of Pathology
Translational control; ribosomal frameshifting and readthrough; virus gene expression; RNA structure and function
Dr Katherine  Brown
Department of Physics
Development of Therapeutics for Bacterial Infectious Diseases, including Traumatic Injury Infection and Biothreat Agents
Dr Hilary   Browne
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Intestinal microbiota; evolution of intestinal spore-forming bacteria in human gut.
Dr Sebastian   Bruchmann
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Veterinary Medicine
I use functional genomics to study AMR and Host-pathogen interactions in Enterobacteriaceae.
Dr Josie   Bryant
Henry Wellcome postdoctoral fellow, Department of Medicine
Within host evolution of cystic fibrosis pathogens
Dr Raymond  Bujdoso
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Immunology
Prion diseases
 David  Burke
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Zoology
Computational approaches to understand the relationship between protein sequence, protein structure and biological function and disease.
Dr Mark  Carrington
Department of Biochemistry
Molecular Cell Biology of Trypanosomes
+44 1223 333683
Dr Adrian   Cazares
ESPOD Research Fellow, EMBL-EBI & Sanger Institute
Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College
Bacterial mobilome and pathogens evolution
Dr Chrispin  Chaguza
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Molecular epidemiology and evolution of bacterial pathogens particularly Streptococcus pneumoniae
Postdoctoral Scientist, at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
 Goylette   Chami
Department of Land Economy.
Economics of Infectious Disease including strategic epidemiology, social experiments, atefactual experiments, and mass drug administration for disease control.
 Lia  Chappell
Postdoctoral fellow, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Developing new single cell sequencing technologies that work on thousands of cells in parallel
Dr Ruchi   Chauhan
Research Facilitator, Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences
Facilitates research activities between academic and industry partners via funded exchange programs, educational.
PhD Student at Department of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Graham   Christie
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Bacterial spore structure and germination; structural biology (protein crystallography); coronavirus testing and inactivation
We study bacterial spores (e.g. Bacillus and Clostridium), with a focus on their assembly, structure, and germination.
Dr Betty   Chung
Department of Pathology
Translation control; gene expression mechanisms; ribosome profiling; RNA structure and function
Professor Pietro  Cicuta
Department of Physics
Salmonella infection of macrophages; bacterial adhesion in airways; P.falciparum (Malaria) egress and invasion in red blood cells; gene expression noise in E.coli; new phenotipic responses to antibiotics; microfluidics/single cell imaging.
 Ruby  Coates
Department of Veterinary Medicine
PhD candidate studying fundamental and molecular biology of Campylobacter jejuni
Senior Bioinformatician, Thomson Group, Wellcome Sanger Institute
 Francesc   Coll
Integration of bacterial whole-genome data with epidemiological, clinical and phenotypic data to glean biological insights
Research Associate in pathogen evolution, at Pathogen Genomics and Evolution Lab
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Professor Anne  Cooke
Professor of Immunobiology
01223 333907
Dr Colin  Crump
Virus assembly and egress
+44 (0) 1223 763423
Research Associate in Microbial Genomics, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Romola   Davenport
Infectious disease mortality in historical populations; smallpox; tuberculosis ; influenza; puerperal infections
 Janet  Deane
Principal Investigator, Cambridge Institute Medical Research (CIMR)
Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions during bacterial infection
Academic Clinical Fellow in Infectious Diseases, at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
 Ulrich  Desselberger
Molecular biology of rotaviruses
+44 (0)1223 763403
PhD Student at Baker Group, CITIID, University of Cambridge
Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever in LMICs
Research Associate at Floto Lab, Department of Medicine
Functional Genomics
Dr  Mary   Dobson
Previous Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford
A writer of books on infectious diseases
Dr Stephen  Kevin Dolan
Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry
Molecular mechanisms that govern interkingdom interactions during polymicrobial infection
 Lars  Dölken
Herpesviruses, virus-host interaction, non-coding RNAs, transcriptional regulation, systems biology, infection and immunity
 Matthew  Dorman
PhD Student at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Professor Gordon   Dougan
Department of Medicine
Vaccinology/pathogenic mechanisms, specialising on the immunology of mucosal vaccines and molecular basis of infection.
 Stephen   Doyle
UKRI Future Leaders Fellow / Sanger Career Development Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Population genomics of drug selection in two veterinary parasites, Haemonchus contortus and Teladorsagia circumcincta
Professor David  Dunne
Epidemiology and Immunology of Schistosomiasis and other Human Parasitic Diseases.
Dr Brian  Ferguson
Innate recognition of viruses and vaccine development
Postdoctoral Fellow at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Medical Student, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge
Professor Andres  Floto
Professor of Respiratory Biology
Co-Director, Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine
Research Director and Honorary Consultant, Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection, Royal Papworth Hospital
Honorary Consultant, Respiratory Immunology service, Cambridge University Hospitals
Co-Director, Cambridge Infectious Diseases Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Dr. Judith M. Fonville
MRC Fellow in Biomedical Informatics
Junior Research Fellow at Homerton College
 Suzie  Forrest
PhD Student
Post-translational modifications of proteins secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
 Samuel   Forster
CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Sam's work combines microbiology, immunology and computational analysis to interactions between the microbiota and pathogen
  Gillian   Fraser
Senior University Lecturer in Cellular & Molecular Microbiology
Head of the Division of Microbiology & Parasitology, Department of Pathology
Niccoli Fellow in the Natural Sciences & Director of Studies, Queens' College
 Sophia  Girgis
Research Assistant
Whole genome sequencing of MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Clostridium difficile from patient samples
Dr Effrossyni  Gkrania - Klotsas
A consultant in infectious diseases with an interest in primary and secondary immunodeficiencies and transplantation.
Professor Ian  Goodfellow
Department of Pathology
Virus-host interactions, with particular emphasis on noroviruses.
Stephen Graham
Professor of Virus:Host Interactions
Dr Andrew James Grant
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Host-pathogen interactions and the molecular basis of virulence.
Senior Tutor at Lucy Cavendish College
Postdoctoral fellow (Marie Currie Sklodowska Action)
Bacterial genomics and evolution group, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Dr William  Hamilton
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Ewan  Harrison
Career Development Fellow - UKRI Innovation Fellowship, at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Senior Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Honorary Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Genomics of inflamation and immunity. Staphylococcus aureus in humans and animals.
Technical Specialist at Genomic Surveillance Unit
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Professor Jonathan Luke Heeney
Comparative Pathology of Viral Infections
Head of the Lab of Viral Zoonotics
Professor Mark A Holmes
Professor in Microbial Genomics & Veterinary Science
Director of Studies in Clinical Veterinary Medicine (Churchill College)
+44 1223 337636
Professor Christopher  Howe
We are interested in the molecular biology of the remnant chloroplast (apicoplast) in apicomplexan parasites (e.g. Plasmodium)
PhD Student in Pathogen Biology and Evolution
Department of Pharmacology
Keywords: Bacterial multidrug transporters; Antimicrobial Resistance
Senior Bioinformatician at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Data analysis and Visualisation on GPS and JUNO Project
 Nerea   Irigoyen
Research Group Leader, Virology, Department of Pathology
Understanding the role of Zika virus genome translation in viral pathogenicity and disease
 Sarah  James
Part Time Research Associate, Department of Zoology
 Dorota  Jamrozy
Project Manager and Principal Bioinformatician at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Comparative genomics of Staphylococcus aureus
PhD student, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
Mechanism of mecA mediated the susceptibility of MRSA to β-lactam antibiotics
Dr Francis  Jiggins
The evolution and genetics of insects and their pathogens
01223 333175
 Punita  Juneja
Research Associate, Department of Genetics
Host-parasite interactions, Evolutionary genetics, Aedes aegypti
 Teemu   Kallonen
NGS based characterization of the population structure and evolution of Enterobacteriaceae.
 Ellis  Kelly
PhD Candidate
Indole signalling in E. coli.
Research Associate at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Dr Julia  Kenyon
Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science and Associate Principal Investigator
Dr  Robert   Kingsley
Elucidation of host-Pathogen interactions of enteric bacteria using a genomic and phylogenomic approach.
Professor Andreas   Kontoleon
Public policy evaluation; Health economics
PhD Student, Department of Veterinary Medicine
 Narender   Kumar
Senior Bioinformatician at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Dr Mara  Lawniczak
Group Leader: Vector-parasite interactions
We use genomic approaches to better understand mosquito populations and parasite transmission dynamics.
Group Leader at European Bioinformatics Institute - EBI EMBL
Dr Helen C Leggett
Research Fellow, Department of Zoology
Social evolution and virulence in parasites by way of experimental evolution of various strains of bacteria and bacteriophages
Professor Andrew  Lever
Department of Medicine
Molecular and structural biology of how RNA viruses package their genetic material and how they select their own RNA from the cell so specifically.
PhD Student, Department of Veterinary Medicine (Lucy Weinert's group)
 Stephanie Wai-U Lo
Project Manager / Principal Bioinformatician, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Genomics, bacterial diseases, LMIC, antimicrobial resistance
 Jia  Lu
Pathogen Biology and Evolution
Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry
Structural and functional characterization of membrane transporters related to virulence and drug resistance from Mycobacteria
Dr. Paula  MacGregor
Principal Investigator
Department of Biochemistry
The molecular basis and evolution of host-parasite interactions in African trypanosomes.
Dr Eyal   Maori
Research Associate
+44 (0) 1223339040
Dr Alison   Mather
Group Leader at Quadram Institute
Epidemiology, evolution and dynamics of foodborne and zoonotic bacteria, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
Veterinary Epidemiologist, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Equine Infectious Disease Surveillance
Dr Richard  A.  McKay
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow
Director of Studies for History and Philosophy of Science, Magdalene College
 Monique   Merchant
Glycoprotein structural studies and phylogenetic analysis to study evolutionary virology.
Dr Catherine J. Merrick
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pathology
Basic biology of the human malaria parasite and impact of this biology on virulence. Molecular genetics and cell biology
Dr. Piers D Mitchell
Runs the Cambridge Ancient Parasites Laboratory
Senior Research Associate, McDonald Institute, Department of Archaeology
Hospital Consultant (specialist) in NHS
Dr Yorgo   Modis
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Reader in Virology and Immunology
01223 267282
Dr Nicola   Moloney
Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biochemistry
My research utilises proteomics to better understand the interactions between African trypanosomes and their hosts.
Professor Elizabeth  Murchison
Professor of comparative oncology and genetics
Photo of Gemma Murray
Group Leader in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL
Dr Ankur   Mutreja
Department of Medicine/CITIID
Uses advanced bacterial genomics and metagenomics to understand the evolution and spread of pathogens and mine genomic data to identify robust, risk-informative diagnostic markers
PhD Student at Baker's lab, Department of Medicine/CITIID, University of Cambridge
Monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii
PhD student, Department of Biochemistry
Polymicrobial infections and biofilm formation in human airway infection scenarios
PhD Student, Smith group, Department of Zoology
I use computational methods to study vaccines against evolving viruses (SARS-CoV-2, Influenza)
 Ellen   Nisbet
Department of Biochemistry
Evolution of the Plasmodium apicoplast
 Thomas  O'Brien
PhD Student and Research Assistant
Developing an in vitro model for the stable recapitulation of cystic fibrosis associated polymicrobial communities in the lab.
 Yue Yuan   On
Department of Biochemistry
PhD candidate studying the development and road-testing of an inducible hypermutator strain of P. aeruginosa
Professor Julian  Parkhill
Professor of Bacterial Evolution, Department of Veterinary Medicine
The emergence, transmission and evolution of bacterial pathogens
Research Associate at De Angelis group, MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge
Professor Sharon  Peacock
Director, COVID-19 genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and Professor of Public Health & Microbiology
 Daniel  Plaza
PhD Student
I am studying bacterial production of secondary metabolites at the Department of Biochemistry.
 Arun   Prasad Pandurangan
Senior Research Associate
Department of Medicine
University of Cambridge
Dr Claire  Raisen
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Postdoctoral Research Associate assisting Professor Mark Holmes
 Kathy  Raven
Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Translating pathogen genomics into clinical and public health microbiology, evolution and transmission of pathogenic enterococci.
Dr Mansoor  Raza
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience.
Trafficking and processing of bacterial proteins by mammalian cells.
 Mark  Reacher
Faculty of Clinical Medicine
HPA East of England Regional Epidemiology Unit
Institute of Public Health
Public Health Surveillance,Cryptosporidium, Chlamydia,trachoma, Norovirus, Health Care Associated Infections.
 Avinash  Reddy
Graduate Researcher, Department of Genetics
Computational approaches to understand the influence of host-protein molecular interactions on global viral evolution
 Adam  Reid
Senior Staff Scientist, at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Host-parasite interactions in parasites such as malaria and whipworm using nextgen sequencing and informatics
Dr Sandra  Reuter
Hospital acquired bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance.
Dr Leah  Roberts
EBPOD Postdoctoral Fellow, at EMBL-EBI
My research focus is the translational application of bacterial whole genome sequencing in clinical environments.
Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Research topic: Mutational spectra and evolution of pathogens
 Susannah  Salter
Research Assistant, Department of Veterinary Medicine.
 Thomas  Sanford
PhD student studying the influence of G-quadruplexes on positive strand RNA virus replication.
 Renata  Schaeffer
Assistant Director for Biological Sciences & EU Matters, RO
Research support for School of Biological Sciences and EU funding
Senior Research Fellow, Department of Zoology
What I do: I am developing methodologies to detect, isolate, sequence and match ancient antibodies (degraded immunoglobulin proteins)
Research Interests: Immunology, protein degradation, ancient DNA, palaeoproteomics, infectious diseases
Dr Sebastian   Schornack
Gatsby Research Group Leader
We study plant processes underlying the accommodation of beneficial and pathogenic microbes.
 Longzhu  Shen
Postdoctoral Scientist
Department of Zoology
I work on building mathematical models to predict the evolution of influenza.
Postdoctoral Scientist, Baker's group, Department of Medicine
Biochemistry Part III student, Welch Lab, Dept of Biochemistry
Dr Jordan  Skittrall
Clinical Lecturer in Virology, Department of Pathology
Mathematical analyses of viral genomic data to predict function and drug targets
Professor Derek  Smith
Department of Zoology
Evolution and population dynamics of antigenically variable pathogens, particularly influenza viruses but also malaria, HIV, and HCV.
Dr Alex  Smith
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Molecular microbiologist using glycoengineering approaches to develop vaccines to prevent bacterial disease in chickens
Dr Hannah   Sore
Antibiotic drug discovery and diagnostic developement
PhD Student, Duque-Correa Lab, Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
 Andrea   Strakova
PhD student leading the canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) project
PhD Rotation Student (BBSRC DTP), Department of Biochemistry
MPhil Student at Pathogens and Microbes, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Bacteriophage and Bacteria co-evolution
 AJ  teVelthuis
Department of Pathology
How viral RNA polymerases work and contribute to RNA virus pathogenicity.
Dr Laurence S. Tiley
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Virology
Fellow of Queens' College (Part 1A MIMS supervisor)
Biological Safety Officer (Dept. Vet Medicine)
(01223) 339554 (Vet medicine) (01223) 330180 (Queens')
Dr Andries J Van Tonder
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Pathogen genomics; Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and various Mycobacterium species.
Dr Sina   Tureli
Research Associate, Department of Zoology
Mathematical modelling of biological systems, dynamical systems
Dr Hendrik W.  van Veen
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology (grade 11)
Focus on Antimicrobial Resistance research
 James   Wagstaff
Part III student in Martin Welch's lab, working on the regulation of isocitrate lyase activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
 Ross   Waller
Molecular Cell Biology and Evolution of Apicomplexan Parasites
+44 (0)1223 766057
Dr Tracy  Wang
Animal pathogens, vaccine, antimicrobial resistance and functional genomics
Postdoctoral Research Associate at Department of Biochemistry
Professor of Viral Immunology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
I use cutting-edge proteomics to identify and characterise novel aspects of innate antiviral immunity.
01223 767811
Dr Lucy  Weinert
Wellcome Trust and Royal Society Henry Dale Fellow
Principal Investigator
01223 766247
Dr Martin  Welch
Department of Biochemistry
Regulation of microbial virulence and biofilms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quorum sensing, anti-bacterials, stringent response.
 Robert C Will
PhD Student
Department of Medicine
Researching the evolutionary variations on global C. diphtheriae genomes
Vet, BBSRC PhD Candidate, Resident of the European College of Veterinary Public Health
Livestock associated AMR in the UK and its implications for public health and the livestock industry.
Dr John  Wright
Innate immune sensing of bacterial pathogens
Postdoctoral Researcher
Visiting scholar at Pathogen Genomics and Evolution Group, Dept of Veterinary Medicine
Research Fellow, Department of Genetics
PhD Student at CITIID – Department of Medicine