Richard Culleton  



I am currently Professor and Head of the Division of Molecular Parasitology, I


BSc (hons) Biological Sciences — University of Edinburgh, Scotland 1996-2000

Honours in Zoology, specialising in Parasitology. My honours project involved an investigation into interactions between host immunity and parasite drug resistance, and was supervised by David Walliker and Pedro Cravo. I graduated with a 2:1.

PhD Malaria Parasite Genetics — University of Edinburgh, Scotland 2001 -2004

Supervised by Richard Carter, and funded by a scholarship from the Wellcome Trust, my PhD studies focussed on the development of Linkage Group Selection (LGS) a combination of classical genetic linkage analysis and genomics that can be used to identify the genetic basis of medically important phenotypes in malaria parasites. Published in Genome Research, this system has formed the basis of my main research throughout my career.

Employment History

Research Assistant - University of Edinburgh - 2000 -2001

I worked in David Walliker’s laboratory at the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology. During this time I attempted to make a cross between two strains of Plasmodium falciparum. This involved the in vitro culture of malaria parasites, as well as extensive mosquito work.

Research Associate - University of Edinburgh - 2004 -2005

A year’s post-doc with Richard Carter following the completion of my PhD. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, my work at this point branched into immunology and population genetics, as I began my studies on strain-specific immunity in malaria parasites and on the wheres, whys and wherefores of African Plasmodium vivax.

International Research Fellow - Osaka University - 2005 -2008

Working in Kazuyuki Tanabe’s Laboratory of Malariology at Osaka University, and funded by a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science International Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Researchers, I worked primarily on the population genetics of African P. vivax.

Assistant Professor - Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University - 2008 -2011

I joined the Department of Protozoology on a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Scholarship from the Japanese Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. during this time I embarked on studies of malaria parasite biology, immunology and genetics using the rodent malaria parasites, and continued my field work on P. falciparum and P. vivax in Africa. 

Associate Professor  - Malaria unit, ITM, Nagasaki University - 2011-2020

I gained a tenured position in April 2011, and started my own laboratory - the Malaria Unit - to continue my work on malaria parasite genetics. My lab now focuses on genetic and genomic approaches to identify the underlying genetic causes of phenotypic differences between parasite strains. We use the rodent malaria parasites for some of these studies, but we are increasingly pursuing investigations involving the human malaria parasites in in vitro culture, and non-human primate malaria parasites such as Plasmodium cynomolgi in monkeys. We also work in malaria endemic countries on epidemiology related projects, including with P. falciparum and P. vivax in Africa, and P. knowlesi and P. cynomolgi in Southeast Asia.

Professor  - Division of Molecular Parasitology, Ehime University - 2020 - present

In 2020, I moved to head the Division of Molecular Parasitology at Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan.


Outstanding Review Award from Clinical Infectious Diseases  2010

Young Investigator Award from the Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine 2014

Reviewing and Editorial Appointments

Associate Editor for Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Managing Editor for Tropical Medicine and Health

Review Editor for Frontiers Journals

Academic Editor for PLoS ONE

Guest Editor for Parasitology International

Reviewer for all major Parasitology and Tropical Medicine journals, including the Lancet, Lancet Global Health, mBio, eLife, PLoS Pathogens, PLoS NTDs, PLoS ONE, International Journal for Parasitology, American Journal for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases,  Parasitology International, Infection, Genetics and Evolution etc…

Reviewer for major international grant proposals

Teaching, Supervision and Lecturing

Occasional invited speaker at international conferences. Research supervisor for numerous Medical Student Undergraduates, Master’s Students (3), and PhD Students (5, of which 2 were/are co-supervised). Regular lecturer on malaria. Regular guest speaker for the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science’s Orientation for International Fellows (6 talks per year since 2011).


Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Member of the British Society for Parasitology

Member of the Japanese Society for Parasitology

Member of the Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine

H-Index (March 2020): 27


For a complete list of publications, click here