Our work centers on basic RNA and infection biology, with a focus on small RNAs, extracellular vesicles and RNA trafficking in host-pathogen systems. We have developed many collaborations over the last 7 years to carry this out through multidisciplinary approaches, and to translate our basic findings towards new strategies for treating and controlling virus and parasite infections.

We maintain collaborations with Rick Maizels’ lab and Simon Babayan’s lab for aspects of our helminth research and Mark Blaxter’s lab for nematode genomics. We have shared PhD students with immunologists looking to examine the roles of small RNAs in their models, including Judi Allen and Rose Zamoyska. Our studies in viral models have involved collaborations with Bernadette Dutia , Jurgen Schwarze and Pip Beard’s lab  and have been funded by the BBSRC and Scottish Enterprise.

In 2014 we started a collaboration with Julie Claycomb and Cei Abreu-Goodger to explore the function and evolution of the extracellular nematode Argonaute protein in free-living and parasitic nematodes with a Young Investigators Award (2014-2018) from the Human Frontiers in Science program.

We have also extended the helminth extracellular RNA studies towards analysis of their biomarker potential in filarial infection. This has involved many collaborators in the UK, Germany, Cameroon and USA, including Ken Pfarr, Achim Hoerauf, Ben Makepeace, Sam Wanji and microRNA diagnostic companies.

Tom Driedonks
Tom Driedonks visits from Esther Nolte-t Hoen's lab
Coralie Martin’s lab in Paris hosts Juan
Julie Claycomb Cei Abreu-Goodger and Amy at HFSP meeting
Onchocerca biomarker consortium with Gates foundation
Collaborators Judi Allen and Andrew MacDonald in Hydra