Scott Campbell

Department: Biosciences
Research Centre/Unit: Lab 309, Geoffrey Pope Building

Project Summary

Running title - 'Dissecting the microsporidian secretome; an interface between host and parasite'


My research primarily involves identifying and characterising secreted  and membrane proteins (exoproteome) in microsporidian parasites. microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites, able to infect an enormous range of hosts including humans and the economically important honey bee, salmon and silk work. With exception to their existence as an extracellular and metabolically dormant spore, microsporidia are in contact with the host cell throughout their developmental life cycle replicating in a parasitophorous vacoule or directly in the host cell cytoplasm.

The molecular basis of the host-parasite interaction is at present poorly characterised, however infection, survival and transmission from the host cell are undoubtedly dependent on both membrane bound and extracellular proteins to modify and manipulate the host cell environment.

We use a range experimental and computational approaches to address the role of the exoproteome in microsporidian infection, development and virulence including;

1) Comparative genomics  - to identify core conserved secreted proteins in divergent microsporidian species 2) Phylogenetics - to investigate the evolutionary origin and taxonomic distribution of potential virulence candidates 3) Proteomics - to identify experimentally proteins secreted during germination and early microsporidian infection and to express recombinant protein for antibody production 4) Cell biology - to localize parasite proteins in infected host cells during parasite infection.

My on going projects focus on the developmental cell biology of microsporidia particularly spore germination and the impact microsporidia have on host cell signalling.


 2011 Conference for Microsporidia and Microsporidiosis, Chongqing China - " Dissecting the microsporidian secretome: an interface between host and parasite.(oral)

European Congress of Protistology 2011, Berlin Germany - "Encephalitozoon cuniculi hemolysin III: do pores mean prizes for an intracellular parasite? (oral)

BMS 2011: Fungal Development and Pathogenesis, Exeter UK - " Dissecting the microsporidian secretome: an interface between host and parasite.(Poster)

Supervisory Team

Primary supervisor: Dr Bryony Willliams Second supervisor: Dr Mark van der Giezen

Wider Research Interests

After studying a wide range of parasites in my undergraduate degree I maintain a huge interest in Trypanosomes, Leishmania, Plasmodium and Toxoplasma but to name a few 1) Parasite developmental cell biology 2) Host-parasite interactions in divergent parasitic systems, particularly virulence mechanisms and host cell manipulations . 3) Evolution . 4) Genome reduction in intracellular parasites 5) Parasite immune evasion 6) The role of horizontal gene transfer in parasite evolution