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Appointment
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Research Department of Immunology
  • Div of Infection & Immunity
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
 
 
Biography

Brian de Souza graduated in London with degrees in Biochemistry and Immunology, and then studied for a PhD in immunology in the Department of Immunology at University College London Medical School. He has worked on malaria since 1977and has extensive expertise in immunology and immunopathology of malaria, with particular interests in parasite-derived molecules (“toxins”) that drive the inflammatory response during infection. Since 1992 his main interests have been in developing novel drug or vaccine based therapies for severe malaria. Brian collaborates with Eleanor Riley's group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he has an Honorary Senior Lectureship.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Our studies are aimed at developing novel drug or vaccine based therapies for severe malaria, in particular, cerebral malaria and acute lung damage which together kills 1-2 million children every year. The strategy is based on a two-pronged approach of complementary animal and human malaria studies together with in vitro systems to understand the molecular nature of the lesions leading to the development of these pathologies. Our aim is to identify the risk factors involved in the evolution of these syndromes and to identify the major parasite-derived molecules (“toxins”) that drive the inflammatory response during infection. We are also interested in understanding the function of anti-toxin antibodies in acute and immune human malaria serum in view of the inflammation-inducing role of toxins such as glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). We have recently shown that semi-immune adults in endemic areas do develop neutralizing antibodies against GPI and other as yet unidentified toxins. These data support the notion that the malaria toxin is a complex mixture of proinflammatory molecules. Therefore, we aim to study the relative activities of known—and possibly novel—toxic parasite products which should facilitate the development of antidisease/antitoxic vaccines and adjunct therapies.

Teaching Summary

Lecturer on advanced and undergraduate courses

  • Module Lead for INIM3006 and PATHG014 courses
  • Module Organizer for MSc Molecular Medicine Library-Based Research Projects
  • Lecturer: MBBS Infection and Defense and INFN2001courses
Teaching at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Module Organizer for IDM503 Malaria Distance Learning Programme
  • Lecturer in Infection and Immunity

Academic Background
1992 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of London
1984 M.Phil Master of Philosophy Middlesex Hospital Medical School
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