Imperial College London

Dr Aubrey Cunnington

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Professor of Paediatric Infectious Disease



+44 (0)20 7594 3695a.cunnington




244Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





I am the Head of Section and Professor of 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. I am also interested in applying these findings to improve diagnosis and treatment of severe malaria and other infectious diseases. My group uses a variety of approaches, ranging from clinical studies and transcriptomics, to in vitro and in vivo models.

Together with Prof Halidou Tinto, I lead an NIHR Global Health Research Group on Digital Diagnostics for African Health Systems. This multidisciplinary initiative aims to develop innovative diagnostic tools to tackle malaria and other infectious diseases in Africa: 

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

Until 2023 I was 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:

I teach on the BSc course in Global Health, and MSc course in Immunology. I am a module lead for the MSc in  Applied Paediatrics and short course in Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

You can access some of our published articles for free with the links below:

This article highlights the challenges of severe malaria: "Piecing together the puzzle of severe malaria" Published in Science Translational Medicine


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This article describes the use of dual RNA-sequencing to provide an integrated view of host-pathogen interactions in severe malaria:



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Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ahu Prah D, Dunican C, Amoah L, et al., 2023, Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infection evades triggering a host transcriptomic response, Journal of Infection, Vol:87, ISSN:0163-4453, Pages:259-262

Malpartida Cardenas K, Moser N, Ansah F, et al., 2023, Sensitive detection of asymptomatic and symptomatic malaria with seven novel parasite-specific LAMP assays and translation for use at point-of-care, Microbiology Spectrum, Vol:11, ISSN:2165-0497, Pages:1-12

Hamilton F, Mitchell R, Constantinescu A, et al., 2023, The effect of IL-6 signalling on severe malaria: a Mendelian randomisation analysis, International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol:129, ISSN:1201-9712, Pages:251-259

Channon-Wells S, Vito O, McArdle AJ, et al., 2023, Immunoglobulin, glucocorticoid, or combination therapy for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: a propensity-weighted cohort study, The Lancet Rheumatology, Vol:5, ISSN:2665-9913, Pages:e184-e199

Cunnington AJ, Digital Diagnostics for Africa Network, 2022, The potential of digital molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, Plos Digital Health, Vol:1, ISSN:2767-3170

Challenger J, Foo C, Wu Y, et al., 2022, Modelling upper respiratory viral load dynamics of SARS-CoV-2, BMC Medicine, Vol:20, ISSN:1741-7015

Georgiadou A, Dunican C, Sorro-Barrio P, et al., 2022, Comparative transcriptomic analysis reveals translationally relevant processes in mouse models of malaria, Elife, Vol:11, ISSN:2050-084X

McArdle AJ, Vito O, Patel H, et al., 2021, Treatment of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol:385, ISSN:0028-4793, Pages:11-22

Georgiadou A, Naidu P, Walsh S, et al., 2021, Localized release of matrix metallopeptidase 8 in fatal cerebral malaria, Clinical & Translational Immunology, Vol:10, ISSN:2050-0068, Pages:1-7

Mousa A, Al-Taiar A, Anstey NM, et al., 2020, The impact of delayed treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria on progression to severe malaria: a systematic review and a pooled multicentre individual-patient meta-analysis, PLOS Medicine, Vol:17, ISSN:1549-1277, Pages:1-28

Amulic B, Moxon C, Cunnington A, 2020, A more granular view of neutrophils in malaria, Parasitology Today, Vol:36, ISSN:0169-4758, Pages:501-503

Knackstedt S, Georgiadou A, Apel F, et al., 2019, Neutrophil extracellular traps drive inflammatory pathogenesis in malaria, Science Immunology, Vol:4, ISSN:2470-9468, Pages:1-17

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, Pages:1-17

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 <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i> 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 <i>Salmonella</i> through heme- and heme oxygenase-dependent dysfunctional granulocyte mobilization, Nature Medicine, Vol:18, ISSN:1078-8956, Pages:120-127

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