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Dr Cinzia Cantacessi


Our current research focus is the application of next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to the study of the molecular interactions occurring at the host-parasite interface, with a particular emphasis on gastrointestinal, soil-transmitted helminths of humans (e.g. hookworms, whipworms, roundworms).

This includes studies of the sequences, structural features and transcription profiles of parasites molecules with unknown function, as well as of the relationships between gastrointestinal parasites and the gut commensal flora, in order to elucidate their involvement in the cascade of biological events leading to the invasion of, and the establishment in, the vertebrate host(s), as well as to the modulation of the host immune response.

Our research interests also include the development of new bioinformatic pipelines for nucleic acid sequence analyses, including software for the identification of putative rational targets for the development of novel treatment and control strategies against parasitic diseases

Departments and Institutes

Department of Veterinary Medicine:

Research Interests


1)   Interactions between GI nematodes and the commensal microbiota
2)   Host global transcriptional responses to parasite infections

a)   Fundamental interactions
b)   Within the context of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’
c)    In both humans and animal
3)   WIRMS trial (Worms for Immune Regulation of Multiple Sclerosis) (1)
4)   Pilot project investigating the composition of gut microbiota in nematode infected/uninfected children in Sri Lanka (2)
5)   Large scale randomised, placebo-controlled trial to establish efficacy of hookworm therapy in CeD (3)  


1)     (WIRMS) – University of Nottingham: Professors Cris Constantinescu and David Pritchard
2)     (Sri Lanka) – University of Peradeniya, Kandy: Dr. Piyumali Perera
3)     (Coeliac Disease) – James Cook University, Australia: Professor Alex Loukas and Dr Paul Giacomin*

Between 2013 and 2018, the Centre supported collaborative partnerships and scientific training activities in basic biomedical and health-related research. This was achieved through coordinated cross-faculty research across departments and research institutes in Cambridge including The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute