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Professor Jim Alexander

Emeritus Professor

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

Our laboratory specialises in studying the interaction of the immune system with intracellular protozoan parasites, particularly Leishmania and Toxoplasma gondii. The use of cytokine, cytokine receptor, costimulatory molecule, and signaling molecule gene deficient mice is currently providing a very powerful tool in the analysis of immunoregulatory control of parasitic disease. We have recently further expanded our studies to utilize 2nd generation gene reporter as well as cytokine receptor tissue/cell specific knockouts. Of particular interest to our group is is the development of vaccines against these parasites using recombinant antigen preparations and gene deficient mutants. The development and characterisation of novel adjuvants for use with modern technology vaccines is a particular area of expertise within the group. The development of vaccine delivery formulations, which function as well as orally as they do parenterally is an area of top priority.

We have pioneered studies on the immunopathology of Toxoplasma gondii particularly in the central nervous system and characterised a laboratory model of congenital toxoplasmosis suitable for testing vaccines and chemotherapeutic agents. How these immune responses to parasite infection are influenced by gender and sex hormones is an area of particular interest.

Ongoing collaborations with the Universities of Glasgow, York, Birmingham, Cape Town, Lusanne and Chicago complement these studies.


Acanthamoeba activates macrophages predominantly through toll-like receptor 4 and MyD88-dependent mechanisms to induce Interleukin IL-12 and IL-6
Cano Antonella, Mattana Antonella, Woods Stuart, Henriquez Fiona L., Alexander James, Roberts Craig W.
Infection and Immunity Vol 85, (2017)
Natural and vaccine-mediated immunity to Salmonella Typhimurium is impaired by the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis
Bobat Saeeda, Darby Matthew, Mrdjen Dunja, Cook Charlotte, Logan Erin, Auret Jennifer, Jones Elizabeth, Schnoeller Corinna, Flores-Langarica Adriana, Ross Ewan A., Vira Alykhan, López-Macías Constantino, Henderson Ian R., Alexander James, Brombacher Frank, Horsnell William G., Cunningham Adam F.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Vol 8, (2014)
Analysis of intracellular enzyme activity by surface enhanced Raman scattering
Stevenson Ross, McAughtrie Sarah, Senior Laura, Stokes Robert J, McGachy Helen, Tetley Laurence, Nativo Paola, Brewer James M, Alexander James, Faulds Karen, Graham Duncan
Analyst Vol 138, pp. 6331-6336, (2013)
Notch signaling regulates follicular helper T cell differentiation
Auderset Floriane, Schuster Steffen, Fasnacht Nicolas, Coutaz Manuel, Charmoy Mélanie, Koch Ute, Favre Stéphanie, Wilson Anne, Trottein François, Alexander James, Luther Sanjiv A, Macdonald H Robson, Radtke Freddy, Tacchini-Cottier Fabienne
Journal of Immunology Vol 191, pp. 2344-2350, (2013)
Interleukin-33 exacerbates acute colitis via interleukin-4 in mice
Pushparaj Peter N., Li Dong, Komai-Koma Mousa, Guabiraba Rodrigo, Alexander James, McSharry Charles, Xu Damo
Immunology Vol 140, pp. 70-77, (2013)
Vaccination against Toxoplasmosis : current status and future prospects
Roberts Craig, McLeod Rima, Henriquez Fiona, Alexander James
Toxoplasma GondiiToxoplasma Gondii, (2013)

more publications

Professional activities

Second Generation Vaccines for Leishmania, WHO, Mexico
Keynote/plenary speaker
International Congresses on Toxoplasmosis , USA
International Congresses on Toxoplasmosis , Germany
Integrated Functional Genomics on the Road to Leishmaniasis control, UK
Keynote/plenary speaker
International Conference on Immunology of Health and Disease
Infection and Immunity
Editorial board member

more professional activities


BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) | Crowe, Jenny
Alexander, James (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2011 - 21-Oct-2015
In Vivo Reporting using Nanosystems Chemistry and Optical Spectroscopy
Graham, Duncan (Principal Investigator) Alexander, James (Co-investigator) Faulds, Karen (Co-investigator)
The research focus of this feasibility account is in the application of nanoscience into living systems for improvement of health. There are two themes which run through this research focussing on diagnostics and therapeutics. Our existing Platform Grant has allowed us to start looking at functionalised nanoparticles as responsive nanosensors for analysing cell receptors and enzyme activity within cells based on the change in surface enhanced Raman scattering in a number of target systems. The focus so far has been on immunologically compromised cells and, through very exciting preliminary data and discussion with interested, more clinically based parties, we propose to use this feasibility account to allow us to conduct preliminary studies transposing our research to the next level and to that of genuine in vivo experimentation and implementation of nanoscience. So far, the focus has been on diagnostic information retrieval however, here we propose to couple this with a therapeutic aspect. The mounting of biological drugs, such as therapeutic antibodies, onto nanoparticles appears to have significant effect on the efficacy of the drug when used in vitro. To test this in vivo is very challenging and largely an unknown entity. New biological drugs that have been developed are not fully characterised in terms of where they locate within a body and where they provide their most beneficial action. Despite this, FDA approval has been given and we propose to use our combination of nanoscience, spectroscopy functionalisation and immunological/clinical expertise to create a series of cross disciplinary highly adventurous in vivo experiments with a view to pump priming a much larger and consolidated programme of work.
Period 01-Apr-2010 - 31-Mar-2011
Solving the problems of delivering vaccines by mouth
Ferro, Valerie (Principal Investigator) Alexander, James (Co-investigator) Carter, Katharine (Co-investigator) Mullen, Alexander (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2006 - 28-Feb-2008
Alexander, James (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2004 - 31-Mar-2011
The cellular basis and pathogenic consequences of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatise-2 regulation of innate and adaptive immunity
Plevin, Robin (Principal Investigator) Alexander, James (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2009 - 31-Mar-2013
The Royal Society International Fellowship - Mr Chesney Michels
Alexander, James (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Nov-2006 - 31-Oct-2007

more projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Hamnett Wing John Arbuthnott Building

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