University of Dundee

Dr Henry McSorley

Principal Investigator and joint Deputy Head of the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology
School of Life Sciences, Sir James Black Centre, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH
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Parasitic helminths effectively subvert the host’s immune response, through the release of immunomodulatory factors. These factors suppress immune responses which would otherwise result in parasite ejection, and have potential for use as treatments for immune-mediated diseases such as asthma. Our research focuses on identifying the molecules and molecular pathways by which parasitic worms modulate the host immune system, and developing these findings towards new treatments for human immune-mediated diseases. By discovering how parasites affect the host immune system, we may be able to better combat these important human and animal pathogens, and learn more about the fundamental biology of the immune response. 


Maizels, R.M., H.H. Smits, and H.J. McSorley. 2018. Modulation of Host Immunity by Helminths: The Expanding Repertoire of Parasite Effector Molecules. Immunity. 49:801-818. doi. 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.10.016

Osbourn, M., D.C. Soares, F. Vacca, E.S. Cohen, I.C. Scott, W.F. Gregory, D.J. Smyth, M. Toivakka, A.M. Kemter, T. le Bihan, M. Wear, D. Hoving, K.J. Filbey, J.P. Hewitson, H. Henderson, A. Gonzalez-Ciscar, C. Errington, S. Vermeren, A.L. Astier, W.A. Wallace, J. Schwarze, A.C. Ivens, R.M. Maizels, and H.J. McSorley. 2017. HpARI Protein Secreted by a Helminth Parasite Suppresses Interleukin-33. Immunity. 47:739-751 e735. doi. 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.09.015

McSorley, H.J., N.F. Blair, K.A. Smith, A.N. McKenzie, and R.M. Maizels. 2014. Blockade of IL-33 release and suppression of type 2 innate lymphoid cell responses by helminth secreted products in airway allergy. Mucosal Immunol. 7:1068-1078. doi. 10.1038/mi.2013.123

Ferreira, I., D. Smyth, S. Gaze, A. Aziz, P. Giacomin, N. Ruyssers, D. Artis, T. Laha, S. Navarro, A. Loukas, and H.J. McSorley. 2013. Hookworm excretory/secretory products induce interleukin-4 (IL-4)+ IL-10+ CD4+ T cell responses and suppress pathology in a mouse model of colitis. Infect Immun. 81:2104-2111. doi. 10.1128/IAI.00563-12

Gaze, S., H.J. McSorley, J. Daveson, D. Jones, J.M. Bethony, L.M. Oliveira, R. Speare, J.S. McCarthy, C.R. Engwerda, J. Croese, and A. Loukas. 2012. Characterising the mucosal and systemic immune responses to experimental human hookworm infection. PLoS Pathog. 8:e1002520. doi. 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002520

McSorley, H.J., M.T. O'Gorman, N. Blair, T.E. Sutherland, K.J. Filbey, and R.M. Maizels. 2012. Suppression of type 2 immunity and allergic airway inflammation by secreted products of the helminth Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Eur J Immunol. 42:2667-2682. doi. 10.1002/eji.201142161

McSorley, H.J., S. Gaze, J. Daveson, D. Jones, R.P. Anderson, A. Clouston, N.E. Ruyssers, R. Speare, J.S. McCarthy, C.R. Engwerda, J. Croese, and A. Loukas. 2011. Suppression of inflammatory immune responses in celiac disease by experimental hookworm infection. PLoS One. 6:e24092. doi. 10.1371/journal.pone.0024092