Edinburgh Infectious Diseases
EID logo 2019

Major new appointments in infection research for the School of Biological Sciences

The Institute for Immunology and Infection Research in the School of Biological Sciences is delighted to welcome three new colleagues to join us in Edinburgh in 2024

New staff for IIIR
A very warm welcome to Georgia Perona-Wright, Andrew MacDonald and Richard Wheeler.

Professor Georgia Perona-Wright: Chair of Infection Immunology

Georgia Perona-Wright is an immunologist interested in the balance between immune protection and immune-mediated pathology.

She uses infections and co-infections including parasitic, bacterial and viral pathogens, and her research questions involve T cell biology, tissue regulation and immune metabolism. 

She joins us from the University of Glasgow and has run research programmes in Scotland, the US and Canada. She is active in teaching, public engagement and community outreach, with interests in access to academia and the success of women in science.

She has a love of wild spaces and shared tea.

Perona lab website

Professor Andrew MacDonald: Chair of Cellular Immunology

Andrew MacDonald completed his PhD studying immunity to parasitic worms (helminths) at the University of Edinburgh in 1998. After several years in the U.S., first at Cornell University and then at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to the UK in 2002 to the University of Edinburgh where he established his lab through successive MRC Career Development and Senior Fellowships at the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research. 

In January 2013 he took up the position of Professor of Immunology at the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, within the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation at the University of Manchester.

Research in his lab addresses some outstanding fundamental questions about activation and modulation of cellular immunity, with a particular focus on dendritic cells and macrophages, and T cell activation by antigen presenting cells during inflammation caused by helminths or allergens. 

His research aims to better understand how immunity and inflammation is promoted or regulated during disease, with emphasis on murine mechanistic studies in vivo during helminth infection or in allergic airway inflammation, complemented by analysis of ex vivo patient samples. 

Current projects include determining the importance of different dendritic cell and macrophage subsets during pulmonary and intestinal type 2 inflammation, and the role of the tissue environment, metabolism and the host microbiota in these processes. 

More information about Andrew on ResearchGate

Dr Richard Wheeler: Chancellor’s fellow

The focus of Richard Wheeler's research is the fundamental biology of the Leishmania parasite which causes leishmaniasis in many tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Richard's interest is how this unicellular organism achieves such success as a human pathogen, applying cutting edge molecular cell biology techniques to understand the parasite cell.

A particular specialism is the flagellum, the 'tail' of the parasite that they use to swim, but also wider questions about how the parasite controls adaptations for different life stages. This is supported by genome-wide resources he develops, with technical specialism in large-scale data analysis, microscopy and automated image analysis.

2023 University of Edinburgh Chancellor's Fellows