Dr. Darren Brooks

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Darren Brooks

Contact Details

Peel Building - Room G52

Please email to arrange an appointment.

Current positions

Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience; Programme Leader for Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Science


Upon completion of my PhD thesis, I spent four years as a post-doctoral researcher (Mottram/Coombs group) at the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, University of Glasgow, studying Leishmania mexicana cysteine proteases.  This was followed by a further post-doctoral position at the University of Leeds (Elwyn Isaac’s group) studying metalloproteases in the model free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.  I joined the University of Salford in 2003 as a lecturer and my fascination with parasites and proteases continues. 

I am also passionate about internationalisation of education.  To this end, I lead undergraduate exchange programme links (Biology and Biochemistry) with the University of Toledo, Ohio.  I am also the ELS International Tutor.

Areas of research

Proteases, Parasitology, C. Elegans, Ageing, Disease


I am programme leader for the BSc (Hons) programmes in Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Science. At undergraduate level, I lead the module ‘Fundamentals of Biochemistry.’ I also contribute teaching to other modules that are core to degrees in Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Biology and Zoology. At postgradaute level, I contribute to teaching on the MSc Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology programme. 

Research Interests

One area of research interest is parasite/nematode proteases.  Genome sequencing efforts have shown that organisms not only have large and diverse families of proteases but interestingly, they also contain many ‘non-peptidase’ homologues.  In collaboration with Elwyn Isaac (University of Leeds) we have shown that a non-peptidase member of the angiotensin-converting enzyme family (acn-1) is essential for moulting in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

My other area of interest is focussed on parasite infections in wildlife; in particular, threatened species of wildlife.  For example, bats are host to a multitude of infectious agents, including viruses that pose a zoonotic threat, and parasites.  We have recently shown that pipistrelle bats are commonly infected with digenean trematodes; the life-cycle details of many of the species are not fully described. In addition, male pipistrelles showed a significantly more aggregated helminth distribution and lower parasite abundance than female bats.  The ecology of these parasite species and how they interact with other co-infections carried by bats remains to be elucidated.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, University of Leeds, 1990
  • PhD Molecular Parasitology, U.M.I.S.T., 1995
  • PgCert in H.E. Practice and Research, University of Salford, 2006


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017)