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Professor R Alan Wilson



2009 - Emeritus Professor Department of Biology, University of York
1989 - Professor Department of Biology, University of York
1980 - 1989 Reader Department of Biology, University of York
1973 - 1980 Senior Lecturer Department of Biology, University of York
1965 - 1973 Lecturer Department of Biology, University of York
1965 PhD Imperial College, London University
1964 Diploma in Biochemistry Chelsea College, London University
1962 BSc Zoology Imperial College, London University  



  • The cell biology and immunology of the human blood fluke Schistosoma, the cause of schistosomiasis in many tropical countries
  • The genome, transcriptome and proteome of Schistosoma mansoni, one of the key parasite species
  • The development of vaccines, based on the analysis of protective immunity in laboratory animal models


  • Characterisation of the numerous schistosome genes and pathways from bioinformatic analysis of transcripts (2003), the assembled genome (2009) and the improved genome assembly (2012)
  • The demonstration of protein variation in schistosomes generated by differential splicing of transcripts from novel micro-exon genes (MEGs); the designation of approximately 20 families of such genes, all of unknown function, but largely encoding secreted proteins
  • Proteomic characterisation of the schistosome tegument, the interface between the worm and the host bloodstream responsible for immune evasion, and a potential source of vaccine candidates
  • Proteomic characterisation of enzymes and carrier proteins in the schistosome gut and the first demonstration of endocytosis by the gut epithelium
  • Identification of MEG family 2 and 3 proteins in the secretions both of intravascular schistosome larvae and fully developed eggs, and the suggestion that these may be the parasite equivalent of bacterial virulence factors

Research group(s)

Research Associate Mrs Gillian Vance Characterisation of schistosome epithelia and gland cells using confocal microscopy  
Research Associate Dr Li Xiao Hong, China CDC, Shanghai Functions of the schistosome oesophageal gland; mechanisms of protective immunity in self-curing animal models of schistosomiasis  
External funded collaborations:

Drs L Leite and L Farias, Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Dr T Kariuki, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr W. Castro-Borges, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brasil


Selected publications

  • Wilson, R. A. (2012) Virulence factors of schistosomes.  Microbes and Infection, 14 (15), 1442-1450.
  • Wilson, R. A. (2012) The cell biology of schistosomes: a window on the evolution of the early metazoa. Protoplasma, 249(3), 503-518.
  • Rofatto, H.K., Parker-Manuel, S.J., Barbosa, T.C., Tararam, C.A., Wilson, R.A., Leite, L.C.C. and Farias L.P. (2012) Tissue expression patterns of Schistosoma mansoni Venom Allergen-Like proteins 6 and 7. Int. J. Parasitol,, 42, (7), 613-620
  • Protasio, A. V., Tsai, I. J., Babbage, A., Nichol, S., Hunt, M., Aslett, M. A., De Silva, N., Velarde, G. S., Anderson, T. J., Clark, R. C., Davidson, C., Dillon, G. P., Holroyd, N. E., LoVerde, P. T., Lloyd, C., McQuillan, J., Oliveira, G., Otto, T. D., Parker-Manuel, S. J., Quail, M. A., Wilson, R. A., Zerlotini, A., Dunne, D. W. and Berriman, M. (2012). A systematically improved high quality genome and transcriptome of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 6(1), 10.
  • Martins, V. P., Pinheiro, C. S., Figueiredo, B. C., Assis, N. R., Morais, S. B., Caliari, M. V., Azevedo, V., Castro-Borges, W., Wilson, R. A. and Oliveira, S. C. (2012). Vaccination with Enzymatically Cleaved GPI-Anchored Proteins from Schistosoma mansoni Induces Protection against Challenge Infection. Clin Dev Immunol, ID:962538, 11 pages.
  • Wilson, R. A., Wright, J. M., de Castro-Borges, W., Parker-Manuel, S. J., Dowle, A. A., Ashton, P. D., Young, N. D., Gasser, R. B. and Spithill, T. W. (2011). Exploring the Fasciola hepatica tegument proteome. Int J Parasitol, 41(13-14), 1347-1359.
  • Parker-Manuel, S. J., Ivens, A. C., Dillon, G. P. and Wilson, R. A. (2011). Gene expression patterns in larval Schistosoma mansoni associated with infection of the mammalian host. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 5(8), 30.
  • Mathieson, W., Castro-Borges, W. and Wilson, R. A. (2011). The proteasome-ubiquitin pathway in the Schistosoma mansoni egg has development- and morphology-specific characteristics. Mol Biochem Parasitol, 175(2), 118-125.
  • Jacinto, D. S., Muniz Hdos, S., Venancio, T. M., Wilson, R. A., Verjovski-Almeida, S. and Demarco, R. (2011). Curupira-1 and Curupira-2, two novel Mutator-like DNA transposons from the genomes of human parasites Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum. Parasitology, 138(9), 1124-1133.
  • Hall, S. L., Braschi, S., Truscott, M., Mathieson, W., Cesari, I. M. and Wilson, R. A. (2011). Insights into blood feeding by schistosomes from a proteomic analysis of worm vomitus. Mol Biochem Parasitol, 179(1), 18-29.
  • Castro-Borges, W., Dowle, A., Curwen, R. S., Thomas-Oates, J. and Wilson, R. A. (2011). Enzymatic shaving of the tegument surface of live schistosomes for proteomic analysis: a rational approach to select vaccine candidates. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 5(3), 993.
  • Castro-Borges, W., Simpson, D. M., Dowle, A., Curwen, R. S., Thomas-Oates, J., Beynon, R. J. and Wilson, R. A. (2011). Abundance of tegument surface proteins in the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni determined by QconCAT proteomics. J Proteomics, 74(9), 1519-1533.
  • Araujo-Montoya, B. O., Rofatto, H. K., Tararam, C. A., Farias, L. P., Oliveira, K. C., Verjovski-Almeida, S., Wilson, R. A. and Leite, L. C. (2011). Schistosoma mansoni: molecular characterization of Alkaline Phosphatase and expression patterns across life cycle stages. Exp Parasitol, 129(3), 284-291.
  • Hewitson, J. P., Harcus, Y., Murray, J., van Agtmaal, M., Filbey, K. J., Grainger, J. R., Bridgett, S., Blaxter, M. L., Ashton, P. D., Ashford, D. A., Curwen, R. S., Wilson, R. A., Dowle, A. A. and Maizels, R. M. (2011). Proteomic analysis of secretory products from the model gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus reveals dominance of venom allergen-like (VAL) proteins. J Proteomics, 74(9), 1573-1594.
  • Venancio, T. M., Wilson, R. A., Verjovski-Almeida, S. and DeMarco, R. (2010). Bursts of transposition from non-long terminal repeat retrotransposon families of the RTE clade in Schistosoma mansoni. Int J Parasitol, 40(6), 743-749.
  • Tararam, C. A., Farias, L. P., Wilson, R. A. and Leite, L. C. (2010). Schistosoma mansoni Annexin 2: molecular characterization and immunolocalization. Exp Parasitol, 126(2), 146-155.
  • Mathieson, W. and Wilson, R. A. (2010). A comparative proteomic study of the undeveloped and developed Schistosoma mansoni egg and its contents: the miracidium, hatch fluid and secretions. Int J Parasitol, 40(5), 617-628.
  • DeMarco, R., Mathieson, W., Manuel, S. J., Dillon, G. P., Curwen, R. S., Ashton, P. D., Ivens, A. C., Berriman, M., Verjovski-Almeida, S. and Wilson, R. A. (2010). Protein variation in blood-dwelling schistosome worms generated by differential splicing of micro-exon gene transcripts. Genome Res, 20(8), 1112-1121.
  • Farias, L. P., Cardoso, F. C., Miyasato, P. A., Montoya, B. O., Tararam, C. A., Roffato, H. K., Kawano, T., Gazzinelli, A., Correa-Oliveira, R., Coulson, P. S., Wilson, R. A., Oliveira, S. C. and Leite, L. C. (2010). Schistosoma mansoni Stomatin like protein-2 is located in the tegument and induces partial protection against challenge infection. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 4(2), 597.

External activities


  • Visiting Professor, Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo, Brasil
  • Visiting Professor, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Brasil
  • Member, Editorial Board of ‘Parasitology’ and ‘Parasites and Vectors’
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Consultant, International Atomic Energy Agency on Radiation-attenuated Vaccines

Editorial duties

  • Editorial Board: Parasitology
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Contact details

Alan Wilson
Emeritus Professor
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328600