Professor Judith Smith from the University of Salford has been appointed the President of the British Society for Parasitology, the UK’s primary scientific society for parasitologists.
Parasites cause millions of deaths and billions of infections every year, so developing new vaccines and medicines is essential. The British Society for Parasitology was formed in 1962 to bring together scientists from around the world who work on human, veterinary and wildlife diseases to increase our understanding of parasites and how to treat infections.
Professor Smith has carried out extensive research into the relationship between parasite diversity, transmission and disease. She has developed and taught undergraduate degrees in the field, and currently leads Salford’s School of Environment and Life Sciences which is internationally-renowned for research and training in parasitology.
The department’s achievements include the many years Professor Phil Craig’s spent researching a highly virulent parasite which infects people in Tibet and western China. His efforts were acknowledged in 2010 when he had a microscopic worm named after him.
Professor Smith’s appointment took place on Wednesday 9 April at the British Parasitology Society’s spring meeting at the University of Cambridge which attracted over 570 scientists from around the world.
Professor Smith said: “It is a great honour to serve as President and I look forward to the next two years. These are exciting times for the discipline as our understanding of parasites, from genomics to ecology, creates new possibilities for control.”
The Society’s autumn meeting on disease ecology will be held at the University’s MediaCityUK campus (17-18 Sept 2014).