Parasite Street Science

In 2019, Professor Annette MacLeod's Group along with colleagues from the School of Life Sciences began working with Surge, a Scotland-based organisation that develops street arts, circus and physical theatre. The aim of this collaboration is to explore the use of street theatre in engaging new audiences with our research. In this case, the MacLeod Group's work on African sleeping sickness.

Members of the Macleod Group and undergraduate and postgraduate students from the School of Life Sciences are working with theatre professionals from Surge to create a performance that will be premiered at the Merchant City Festival / Surge Festival in Glasgow in 2021. Surge have spent some time in the lab with the Macleod Group, and researchers have taken part in several creative workshops to develop the piece. Early in 2020, the collaboration received a grant from the Microbiology Society to support the project.

As part of her final year project, microbiology undergraduate Paige Webber has developed a series of short films that support this collaboration and takes a closer look at the work the Macleod Group do, including a typical day and what motivates their research. Paige has been supervised by Dr Nicola Veitch from the School of Life Sciences.

1. Careers in research

Professor Annette MacLeod

2. The life of a researcher

Post doctoral researcher Anneli Cooper

3. The workings of a research facility

4. Sleeping sickness research

Trypanosomes in blood

Paige has also created an animation that talks more about sleeping sickness, and gives us a bit of a sneak preview of the performance that we are working on with Surge.

5. Sleeping sickness: a tale of shape-shifting parasites

Image from sleeping sickness animation


We hope to bring you the performances during the summer of 2021.
Stay tuned for more information and more content!

Surge and Macleod Group in lab

Follow this link for more about the work we do at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology.

To find out more about sleeping sickness, check out our comic which is based on the research of the Macleod Group.