Eleanor Riley

PROF, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease, Prof

Personal profile


After graduating from Bristol University with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science, Eleanor Riley interned in veterinary pathology at Cornell University and obtained her PhD in immunology and parasitology from the University of Liverpool.  After 5 years at the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia, Eleanor moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow prior to her appointment to a personal chair in Immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1998. In September 2017, Eleanor moved back to the University of Edinburgh to take up the role of Director of the Roslin Institute in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Eleanor resigned from the directorship of the Roslin Institute in 2020 and moved to the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research in the School of Biological Sciences. Eleanor’s research focusses on mechanisms of immunity to malaria, how the immune response can contribute to disease, how immunity affects the distribution and transmission of the parasite and how malaria infection affects resistance to other infections. In addition, Eleanor has a long standing interest in the biology of natural killer (NK) cells and their role in resistance to infection. Eleanor is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has previously served as Committee and Strategy Panel chair at BBSRC and as deputy chair of MRC Infections and Immunity Board. She has recently been appointed to the governing Council of the MRC.

External positions

Council Member, Medical Research Council

Apr 2018 → …


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