Parasites: the good, the bad and the ugly

The IBERS Parasitology Team on Aberystwyth University’s Penglais Campus

08 March 2018

World leading parasitologists will congregate in Aberystwyth for the Annual British Society of Parasitology Conference which takes place from 8 –11 April 2018.

Hosted by Aberystwyth University for the first time since 1986, the conference is being organising by Dr Justin Pachebat BSP Council representative, supported by senior parasitologists from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

Professor Karl Hoffmann is head of Parasitology research at IBERS and said “We are proud to be hosting this prestigious event, and look forward to welcoming colleagues and world renowned experts to present their research and discoveries in Aberystwyth.”

“It is also an opportunity to showcase our expanding parasitology offering to students here in our wonderful university and town, including the new Post grad MRes in Parasite Control which was launched earlier this year.”

The Conference brings together over 300 parasitologists from all corners of the globe to share knowledge and discuss the latest research in a wide range of disciplines including drug discovery and resistance, immunology & vaccines, insect vector control, aquatic, ecological, veterinary, wildlife and clinical parasitology.”

The four day Conference kicks off on Sunday 8 April with a special event that is open to all at 8pm in the Old College on ‘Public Understanding of Science’ with Professor Peter Chiodini.

Prof Chiodini is a familiar face on TV talking about parasites that people can contract whilst on holiday. He was also the team-lead in curing media personality Cheryl Cole of malaria in 2010.

Professor Chiodini is Consultant Parasitologist at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and is Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Director of the Public Health England (PHE) Malaria Reference Laboratory and the PHE National Parasitology Reference Laboratory.

During the launch event, the first Rhiannon Powell Bursary will be awarded to an Aberystwyth University student.

On Monday 9 April, the Science Café will be held at 8pm in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre entitled “Parasites: the good, the bad and the ugly”.

This event is open to all, and features three high profile speakers - Professor Rachel Chalmers, Professor Peter Preiser and Professor Alex Loukas.

Professor Rachel Chalmers is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of the NHS Wales Cryptosporidium reference unit.

Professor Peter Preiser is from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, where he specialises in the study of the malaria parasite and is head of the team at NTU that has discovered a route to a possible vaccine for malaria.

Professor Loukas is from James Cook University in Australia and researches vaccines for human parasitic infections and novel anti-inflammatories for treating a range of autoimmune and allergic disorders of humans, including Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).