British Society for Immunology Congress 2017 | 4 - 7 December, Brighton UK

Eleanor Riley

Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK

Eleanor Riley graduated from Bristol University with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science. After an internship in Veterinary Pathology at Cornell University (USA) she studied for a PhD in immunology and parasitology in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Liverpool. She began working on the immunology of malaria in 1985, as a member of the senior scientific staff at the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia, West Africa. In 1990, Eleanor moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. Eleanor moved to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in October 1998 where she was Professor of Infectious Disease Immunology and Head of the Department of Immunology and Infection. In September 2017, Eleanor took up the post of Director of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh where she is also Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease and Dean for Research at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences.


Our work concentrates on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immunity to infection, with a longstanding interest in anti-malarial immunity. We study the immunological consequences of malaria infection in endemic and non-endemic populations, conducting immuno-epidemiological studies of the relationship between defined immune responses and acquisition of clinically protective immunity, and relate these observations to data from experimental model systems and in vitro studies. We also conduct research oriented to the development and evaluation of anti-malarial vaccines.

A major aspect of our ongoing work is the immunobiology of Natural Killer cells.

Current projects include (i) the contribution of Natural Killer cells to the induction and effector phases of vaccine-induced immunity, (ii) mechanisms of activation of NK cells by malaria infected red blood cells, (iii) differentiation and maturation of NK cells in UK and African populations, (iv) immunobiology of myalgic encepahlitis/chronic fatiigue syndrome, (v) the relationship between asymptomatic malaria infections, neutrophil dysfunction and suceptibiluty to invasive bacterial infections.

Current collaborations include:

  • Imperial College, London: modelling of immune responses
  • Medical Research Council Laboratories, The Gambia: malaria immunology and responses to vaccination.
  • ICDR Kampala, Uganda: the immunology and seroepidemiology of malaria in areas of diverse malaria transmission.