Professor John Kelly

Professor of Molecular Biology
John.Kelly [at]
John Kelly

Professor Kelly's research focus is on the molecular biology of parasitic protozoa

His lab focuses on three main areas:

  • Development of new genetic tools for functional studies on Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Mechanisms of drug action and resistance in Chagas disease
  • Understanding the pathogenesis of trypanosome infections 

Funding: The British Heart Foundation, Australian Research Council, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), GSK

The parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei are responsible for Chagas disease and African trypanosomiasis, respectively. These diseases represent a major public health problem in regions of the world least able to deal with the associated economic burden. Advances in this field have led to the development of a wide range of genetic tools that can be used to address fundamental biological questions associated with these important pathogens. In addition, the output of the trypanosomatid genome projects, together with major advances in imaging technology is providing a research framework where rapid progress can be expected.

Dr Kelly's team are exploiting these new approaches and opportunities to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms of drug action and resistance, and disease pathogenesis. In collaboration with biologists, biochemists and medicinal chemists, Dr Kelly's research is contributing to the Chagas disease drug discovery pipeline, as well as providing the community with new functional genomic tools. These multidisciplinary approaches, which bring together of both academic and industrial partners, are now widely seen as the way ahead to provide better treatment for these previously ‘Neglected Diseases’.