About our Centre
A brief history
We are one of eight Centres created by the Wellcome Trust, as centres of excellence conducting work of major international significance within designated fields of study. We started as a Wellcome Trust Unit in 1987, with a remit to study basic features of parasites, using genetic and molecular technology allied with study of parasites as whole organisms.
Since then, we have expanded through recruitment of research leaders, most of whom have joined us since 2002. In 2006, we moved to the new, multidisciplinary Sir Graeme Davies Building, where we interact with immunobiologists, microbiologists and structural biologists.
Our studies traditionally have concentrated on trypanosomes and leishmanias. Recently, we have also developed a focus to study malaria, one of the major threats to humans globally. In 2004, INSERM, the French national medical research agency, opened our malaria Research Unit, the first of its Units in a university outside France. We followed this by appointing two other senior malaria researchers, a biochemist and a molecular biologist, who are independent of the INSERM Unit.
Understanding the bigger picture requires study of populations (of molecules, parasites, hosts), which we have recently embraced through the appointment of a senior ecologist. Statistical and mathematical approaches are now being applied to complex questions within our research.
How being a Centre benefits research
We have a strong infrastructure that encourages high-quality science, through multidisciplinary investigation and cross fertilisation in ideas and approaches. By having a critical mass of scientists, we produce more than the sum of their products. This synergy arises from common awareness of the research in the Centre, from open flow of information and ideas, from high quality of training, and from close involvement in research communities in both the developed North and the developing South.