Our comics are an important part of our public engagement programme and have made our research accessible to a wide range of audiences around the world. We have developed a series of comics with comic artist Edward Ross and scientist Dr Jamie Hall - a former PhD student at the WCIP.
The first comic, entitled Parasite was produced in 2010 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Wellcome Trust. Comic artist Rachel Morris designed the cover. The comic proved hugely popular with a range of age groups and continues to be used for public engagement. It gives a brief overview of parasitology, and the parasites we study at the WCIP.
The next comic release (2012) was Malaria: The Battle Against a Microscopic Killer and was again written and drawn by Jamie and Edward with input from artists Tom Humberstone and Luke Pearson. It has been translated into many languages, including Swahili. This comic was supported by Evimalar - a former network of European research groups collaborating on malaria research.
Our third comic (2016) Sleeping Sickness: The Fight Against a Nightmarish Disease explores another important parasitic disease that is studied by researchers at the WCIP and highlights the work of the MacLeod Group. 'Toxoplasmosis: unlocking the secrets of a mysterious parasite', our fourth comic (2017), highlights our research on the Toxoplasma parasite and features the work of the Sheiner Group.
Our fourth comic (2020), Helminths: The Secret World of Parasitic Worms, tells the story of our research on schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm carried in snail vectors. This comic also talks about how these parasites may offer some hope in the understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It features the work of the Lamberton Lab and the Maizels Lab.
Our final comic (2023), Leishmaniasis: Cracking the Parasite Code, explores the molecular mechanisms of leishmaniasis and how we can investigate them using CRISPR Cas9 technology. It features the work of the Gluenz Lab, Barrett Lab, Cotton Group and McCulloch Lab.
Please read our blog on how we develop the comics, and why we think they are a good tool for communicating about our research.
All of our comics can be downloaded. If you have any feedback or would like to discuss anything related to the comics, please contact our public engagement manager Hannah Bialic.
If you are interested in translating our comics into a language we do not currently have, please contact our public engagement manager Hannah Bialic.