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Professor Gavin Wright joins the Department

Posted on 11 September 2020

We are pleased to welcome Gavin Wright to the University of York as a Chair in Microbial Biochemistry.

Professor Wright will hold a joint appointment between the Department of Biology and the Hull York Medical School. 

Professor Wright’s research interests are centred on the discovery of extracellular interactions made by cell surface receptor proteins that are responsible for intercellular recognition, adhesion and signal initiation in biological systems. He is particularly interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which parasites that cause deadly infectious diseases infect their hosts with the ultimate aim of developing vaccines. Recent research from his group has identified vaccine candidates that are currently being tested to prevent parasitic diseases such as malaria and animal African trypanosomiasis.

Professor Wright graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biochemistry before studying for a DPhil at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology. Since 2003 he has led a laboratory at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge where he is currently a Senior Group Leader. He will continue working part-time at the Sanger Institute for a first transitional year in his new post at York.

Professor Mottram, Director of the York Biomedical Research Institute said: “Gavin is a renowned biochemist whose research on microbial pathogens will integrate perfectly into our research theme on immunology, haematology and infection and complement ongoing research in parasitology at York.”

Professor Wright said: “The University of York offers an ideal environment for me to pursue my interests in identifying parasite vaccines and growing interest in structural biology to understand how they work and increase their efficacy. York has a strong international reputation in these areas and I’m very much looking forward to working together with my new colleagues and making some lasting scientific contributions that will ultimately improve the quality of life for many people.”