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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Professor Geoff Hide

Professor of Parasitology; Academic Lead Biology and Wildlife Programmes


I was educated at Edinburgh University gaining a BSc in Biological Sciences with Honours in Genetics and went on to study for a PhD in the Institute of Animal Genetics at Edinburgh University with Professor Andy Tait. Here I became interested in molecular approaches to the epidemiology of parasites.

I went on to do postdoctoral research at the Wellcome Unit (now Centre) of Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow to work on both molecular epidemiology and cell signaling in parasites.

I was appointed Lecturer, University of Salford in 1998, Reader in 2001 and Professor in August 2004 where I have been able to develop an exciting research portfolio.

Over this time I have held several posts in the leadership of research and teaching at the University of Salford including Director of the Centre of Parasitology and Disease, 2000 -2007, Director Biomedical Research Institute, 2006 - 2009, Member of the University Management Group and Senate, 2006-2010, and Associate head of School (Research), 2006- 2011. I am currently the Academic lead for Biology and Wildlife programmes.

I am on the Editorial Boards of a number of journals including: "Parasitology" (2003 onwards), "Parasites and Vectors" (2008 onwards), and was on the organizing committee of the International Conference on Parasitology in 2015. I have ongoing research collaborations with scientists in the UK and several other countries including China and the US. I have a particularly fruitful collaboration with Professor Zhao-Rong Lun at Zhongshan Medical School at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. Prof Lun is also an Honorary Visiting Professor at Salford University. I have been invited to China for plenary lectures on several occasions – the latest being November 2017.

I am a keen scuba diver and a British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) National Instructor and First Class Diver. In 2008 I was awarded the annual BSAC Cousteau Award for my contribution to the BSAC over many years. I am author of "The Expedition Manual" (BSAC, 2010) and a BSAC Council Member and Director.

In 2014, I was awarded “Best Teacher” in the Student Led Teaching Awards 2014 run by the University of Salford Student’s Union.


I am Academic Lead for Biology and Wildlife programmes.

My background in genetics, infectious disease biology and the molecular epidemiology of disease involves integration of genetic techniques and field based epidemiology, I bring these interests to my wide teaching profile which spans from managing our introductory genetics programme to epidemiology, parasitology and molecular parasitology. I also lead and teach field biology driven by my experience of fieldwork and love of marine environments.

I was previously the Programme Leader for Biology, Zoology, Human Biology and Infectious Diseases before becoming Academic Lead.

I am the Module Leader for Level 4 Genetics, Level 4 Genes to Ecosystems, Level 6 Veterinary and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and helped to co-create the new L6 Human Genetics module.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in the molecular epidemiology of parasites where I have major projects including a long term interest in trypanosomes. In this research, we have developed molecular tools for tracking trypanosomes and shown the importance of cattle reservoir hosts on the generation of human sleeping sickness epidemics. More recently we have been developing and evaluating tools for determining prevalences of trypanosomiasis in African cattle. My current projects in this area based around developing a detailed understanding of mobile genetic elements as tools for epidemiology and on using molecular approaches to investigate host-parasite interactions (specifically immune genes like toll-like receptors) in relation to the health of African cattle. I conduct this work in collaboration with scientists at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Another principal area of my research has been to investigate the role of vertical transmission as a means by which the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is spread. This parasite is a parasite specifically of the cat but is highly successful. It infects all warm blooded animals, including infecting some 30% of the human population globally! My interest is in understanding how this parasite can be so successful. We have been principally interested in the role of mother to offspring (congenital/vertical transmission) as a mode of parasite spread.

We have undertaken studies in mice and demonstrated frequent vertical transmission in natural populations. One of the key effects of this parasite is in causing abortion in domestic animals and miscarriage in humans. Our studies over a number of years have shown that vertical transmission in sheep may be very high and the impact of this is that our sheep husbandry practices maybe  increasing the spread of this economically important parasite. We have ongoing studies investigating this same question in humans through collaborations with hospitals in Manchester and Libya.

I have other ongoing projects which are focused around the epidemiology of Toxoplasma, the related parasite Neospora and other parasites in natural populations such as woodmice, rabbits, rats, british bats, badgers and urban pests. As part of this, I was included in a Salford team that discovered a new species of parasite, Notocotylus malhamensis. Our recent work is focussed on investigating DNA sequence variation and epigenetic variation in genes of the innate immune system in animal and human hosts.

I have ongoing research collaborations with Professor Zhao-Rong Lun in Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou in China. We are interested in the cellular mechanisms that determine the virulence of Toxoplasma gondii in mammalian hosts. We have recently published some exciting research that shows that the balance of expression of two enzymes, Arginase 1 (Arg) and inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS), can determine virulence. We have shown that in mice, a species highly susceptible to Toxoplasma infection, have high Arg and low iNOS levels, while rats, that are resistant to the parasite, have low Arg and high iNOS. We have also shown the involvement of the P2Y2 receptor and guanylate binding proteins in host-parasite interactions with Toxoplasma – these are published in two papers in PNAS. As part of this collaboration, we have also been collating data on the prevalence of the parasite in China and we published on infection prevalence in pregnant women in China. In a recent paper in PNAS, we have been proposing, along with Professor Fransciso J. Ayala of UCLA, that there may be examples of cancer-like behaviour of cells in protozoan parasites.

In a recent ongoing study, in collaboration with colleagues at Manchester University, we have made some exciting findings on Toxoplasma infection in lung cancer patients. This work should be published in due course.

I have been fortunate to supervise 18 PhD students and one MSc student who have successfully completed and currently have 6 PhD students and an MSc student working with me.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc (Hons) Genetics, University of Edinburgh 1982

PhD University of Edinburgh 1988

Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine

Chartered Biologist (CBiol)

Member of the British Society for Parasitology (BSP)

Member of the British Section of the Society for Protozoology

Member of the American Society of Microbiology

Member of the St Kilda Club

Director of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)


Gao JM, Xie YT, Xu ZS, Chen H, Hide G, Yang TB, Shen JL, Lai DH, Lun ZR. (2017). Genetic analyses of Chinese isolates of Toxoplasma gondii reveal a new genotype with high virulence to murine hosts. Vet Parasitol. 241:52-60.

Xie YT, Gao JM, Wu YP, Tang P, Hide G, Lai DH, Lun ZR. (2017). Recombinant α-actinin subunit antigens of Trichomonas vaginalis as potential vaccine candidates in protecting against trichomoniasis. Parasit Vectors. 10:83.

Qin A, Lai DH, Liu Q, Huang W, Wu YP, Chen X, Yan S, Xia H, Hide G, Lun ZR, Ayala FJ, Xiang AP. (2017). Guanylate-binding protein 1 (GBP1) contributes to the immunity of human mesenchymal stromal cells against Toxoplasma gondii. PNAS;114:1365-1370.

Haq, SZH, Abushahma, MS, Gerwash, O, Hughes, JM, Wright, EA, Elmahaishi, MS, Lun, ZR, Thomasson, D and Hide, G (2016) High frequency detection of Toxoplasma gondii DNA in human neonatal tissue from Libya. Trans Roy Soc Tropl Med Hyg. 110: 551-557

Wen YZ, Su BX, Lyu SS, Hide G, Lun ZR, Lai DH. (2016). Trehalose, an easy, safe and efficient cryoprotectant for the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei. Acta Trop. 164:297-302.

Wen YZ, Lun ZR, Zhu XQ, Hide G, Lai DH. (2016) Further evidence from SSCP and ITS DNA sequencing support Trypanosoma evansi and Trypanosoma equiperdum as subspecies or even strains of Trypanosoma brucei. Infect Genet Evol. 41:56-62.

Hide G (2016). Role of vertical transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in prevalence of infection. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2016;14(3):335-44.

Lai DH, Hong XK, Su BX, Liang C, Hide G, Zhang X, Yu X, Lun ZR. (2016) Current status of Clonorchis sinensis and clonorchiasis in China. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 110(1):21-7.

Zheng LL, Liao JY, Yan-Zi Wen YZ, Hide G, Qu LH and Lun ZR. (2016). Different Types of Small RNAs in Protozoa. In “Non-coding RNAs and inter-kingdom communication” Editors, Ayala, FJ. Springer, Switzerland.

Gao JM, Yi SQ, Wu MS, Geng GQ, Shen JL, Lu FL, Hide G, Lai DH, Lun ZR. (2015) Investigation of infectivity of neonates and adults from different rat strains toToxoplasma gondii Prugniaud shows both variation which correlates with iNOS and Arginase-1 activity and increased susceptibility of neonates to infection. Experimental Parasitology 149:47-53.

Bajnok J, Boyce K, Rogan MT, Craig PS, Lun ZR, Hide G. (2015). Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in localised populations of Apodemus sylvaticus is linked to population genotype not to population location. Parasitology. 143: 680 - 690.

Ideozu, EJ., Whiteoak, AM., Tomlinson, AJ., Robertson, A., Delahay, R.J., Hide, G. (2015). High prevalence of trypanosomes in European badgers detected using ITS-PCR. Parasit. Vectors. 8:480.

Lin RH, Lai DH, Zheng LL, Wu J, Lukeš J, Hide G, Lun ZR. (2015). Analysis of the mitochondrial maxicircle of Trypanosoma lewisi, a neglected human pathogen.  Parasit Vectors.;8:665.

Guo, H-M, Gao, J-M, Luo, YL, Wen, Y-Z, Zhang, Y-L, Hide, G, Zhou, W-L, Ayala, FJ and Lun, Z-R. (2015). Infection by Toxoplasma gondii, a severe parasite of neonates and AIDS patients, causes impaired anion secretion in airway epithelia. PNAS 112: 4435 – 4440

Lun ZR, Lai DH, Wen YZ, Zheng LL, Shen JL, Yang TB, Zhou WL, Qu LH, Hide G, Ayala FJ. (2015). Cancer in the parasitic protozoans Trypanosoma brucei and Toxoplasma gondii. PNAS. 112(29):8835-42.