Prof Francisca Mutapi

Prof Francisca Mutapi


University of Edinburgh

Immunology & Infection

Email me

Work and Research

Francisca Mutapi is a Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford. She was elected as one of the 60 founding members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy in 2012, and a Fellow of the African Academy of Science in 2015. Her work involves using basic science to inform helminth control and intervention programmes. Recently, her work has led to paediatric schistosome control policy revision by the WHO and contributed to the implementation of Zimbabwe’s 5-year national helminth control programme. She currently sits on several national and international advisory and strategic boards as well as several international funding committees.

Fields Of Expertise

Global Health Infection and Immunity

Research Profiles

My contribution to science and its impact on society

In addition to changing and practice as detailed above my notable contributions to scientific advancement include the demonstration that antihelminthic treatment of schistosome-infected people accelerates the development of protective immunity against the parasites2and mechanistic studies of this phenomenon contributing to the WHO guidelines for schistosome vaccine development and WHO research prioritization in their current Research Priorities for Helminth Research. Other contributions include describing new cell types in human helminthiasis(Group 2 Innate lymphoid cells3), novel methods of helminth immuno-regulation (down regulation of the TCR complex CD3?-chain on CD3+ T cells4), novel effects of helminth infection on human immune cells(CD4+ memory T cells5, CD16 monocytes6, myeloid dendritic cells7), and novel mediators of protective immunity against schistosomes (Th17 responses8). I also pioneered the use of proteomic approaches to screen for parasite vaccines candidates(discovering more novel schistosome vaccine candidates in one study than the entire field’s collective effort in the preceding 10 years9), a technique now adopted by others. My multidisciplinary approaches have allowed me to answer longstanding central questions on the nature and development of protective immunity against schistosomes10and propose now widely accepted hypothesis (the threshold hypothesis11) on why protective immunity against the parasites develops slowly.