Professor Eleanor Riley

MRC Council member

Professor Eleanor Riley is a member of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Council.

After graduating from the University of Bristol with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science, Eleanor interned in veterinary pathology at Cornell University and obtained her PhD in immunology and parasitology from the University of Liverpool.

After five years at the MRC Laboratories in The Gambia, Eleanor moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow prior to her appointment to a personal chair at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 1998. In September 2017, Eleanor moved back to the University of Edinburgh to take up the role of Director of the Roslin Institute in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. In 2020, Eleanor moved to the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh where she is now Professor Emerita of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Eleanor’s research focuses on mechanisms of immunity to malaria, how the immune response can contribute to disease, how immunity affects the distribution and transmission of the parasite and how malaria infection affects resistance to other infections. In addition, Eleanor has a long-standing interest in the biology of natural killer cells and their role in resistance to infection. Eleanor has previously served as Committee and Strategy Panel chair at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and as deputy chair of MRC Infections and Immunity Board.

Eleanor is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was awarded a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list in 2023.

Last updated: 8 May 2024

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