Imperial College London

Dr Aubrey Cunnington

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Reader in Paediatric Infectious Diseases



+44 (0)20 7594 3915a.cunnington




231Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





I am the Head of the Section and Reader in Paediatric Infectious Disease, and also an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. My research focuses on the interactions between hosts and pathogens which result in severe infectious diseases, particularly severe malaria. I am interested in understanding why some people get very ill and die from malaria, whilst others have a less severe illness.

You can read more about the challenges of severe malaria in this article: "Piecing together the puzzle of severe malaria" Published in Science Translational Medicine


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My group uses a variety of approaches study malaria, ranging from clinical studies and transcriptomics, to in vitro and in vivo models. We have recently used dual RNA-sequencing to provide an integrated view of host-pathogen interactions, and you can read more about this approach here:



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Other aspects of my research focus on understanding how malaria causes susceptibility to other infections, such as Non-Typhoid Salmonella bacteremia, and understanding and predicting susceptibility to infections in children with Sickle Cell Disease. Our work in Sickle Cell Disease is undertaken in collaboration with Dr Subarna Chakravorty and Dr Kirstin Lund and has been generously funded by The Rosetrees Trust. 

I am  co-convener of the Imperial College Network of Excellence in Malaria, an interdisciplinary network of more than 100 malaria researchers at Imperial College working together to eradicate malaria: Together with Dr Pantelis Georgiou (Electronic Engineering) and Prof Jake Baum (Life Sciences) I lead the Imperial Malaria Diagnostics Research Group, developing innovative diagnostic tools to facilitate malaria eradication efforts.   

I am part of the EU-Horizon 2020 PERFORM consortium ( which seeks to develop personalized management strategies for children with febrile illness based on new diagnostic tests.

I teach on the BSc courses in Global Health and Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, and MSc courses in Immunology and Paediatrics, and short courses in Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Georgiadou A, Cunnington AJ, 2019, Shedding of the vascular endothelial glycocalyx - a common pathway to severe malaria?, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:69, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:1721-1723

Levin M, Cunnington AJ, Wilson C, et al., 2019, Effects of saline or albumin fluid bolus in resuscitation: evidence from re-analysis of the FEAST trial, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol:7, ISSN:2213-2600, Pages:581-593

Georgiadou A, Lee HJ, Walther M, et al., 2019, Modelling pathogen load dynamics to elucidate mechanistic determinants of host-Plasmodium falciparum interactions, Nature Microbiology, Vol:4, ISSN:2058-5276, Pages:1592-1602

Lee HJ, Georgiadou A, Walther M, et al., 2018, Integrated pathogen load and dual transcriptome analysis of systemic host-pathogen interactions in severe malaria, Science Translational Medicine, Vol:10, ISSN:1946-6234

Mcardle A, Turkova A, Cunnington A, 2018, When do co-infections matter?, Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, Vol:31, ISSN:0951-7375, Pages:209-215

Lee HJ, Georgiadou A, Otto T, et al., 2018, Transcriptomic studies in malaria – a paradigm for investigation of systemic host-pathogen interactions, Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, Vol:82, ISSN:1092-2172

Evans C, Orf K, Horvath E, et al., 2015, Impairment of neutrophil oxidative burst in children with sickle cell disease is associated with heme oxygenase-1, Haematologica - the Hematology Journal, Vol:100, ISSN:0390-6078, Pages:1508-1516

Cunnington AJ, Riley EM, Walther M, 2013, Stuck in a rut? Reconsidering the role of parasite sequestration in severe malaria syndromes, Trends in Parasitology, Vol:29, ISSN:1471-4922, Pages:585-592

Cunnington AJ, Walther M, Riley EM, 2013, Piecing Together the Puzzle of Severe Malaria, Science Translational Medicine, Vol:5, ISSN:1946-6234

Cunnington AJ, Njie M, Correa S, et al., 2012, Prolonged Neutrophil Dysfunction after Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Is Related to Hemolysis and Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction, Journal of Immunology, Vol:189, ISSN:0022-1767, Pages:5336-5346

Cunnington AJ, de Souza JB, Walther M, et al., 2012, Malaria impairs resistance to Salmonella through heme- and heme oxygenase-dependent dysfunctional granulocyte mobilization, Nature Medicine, Vol:18, ISSN:1078-8956, Pages:120-127

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