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Research Fellows Directory

Christopher J R Illingworth

Dr Christopher J R Illingworth

Research Fellow


University of Cambridge

Research summary

Pathogens are microbial organisms that threaten human health. They include viruses, such as influenza and HIV, harmful bacteria, and parasites, such as malaria. Many pathogens evolve extremely fast. Influenza evolves to escape from the human immune system. Bacteria and parasites also evolve; some drugs, that were previously useful in treating infections, are no longer effective. A new technique in studying pathogens is the sequencing of genomes from a microbial population at many points in time. This allows for pathogen evolution to be observed directly, with changes in genome sequences being seen as they happen. However, new mathematical techniques are needed in order to make the most of this sequence information. This project will develop mathematical methods to understand pathogen evolution using data from genetic sequencing. The project will uncover the role of the immune system in the evolution of influenza and HIV across the course of an infection. It will create methods to inte rpret experiments carri

Grants awarded

Multi-locus models of pathogen evolution.

Scheme: Sir Henry Dale Fellowship

Dates: Sep 2013 - Sep 2018

Value: £650,845