Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Infectious Disease







Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





I am interested in understanding how the genetics of the host influence susceptibility to infectious and inflammatory disease.

The main focus of this work has been the diverse diseases caused the human-restricted bacterial pathogen, Streptococcus pyogenes, which is also known as the Group A streptococcus. These include not only common superficial infections, such as pharyngitis and impetigo, but also invasive infections, such as necrotising fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock, and post-infective sequelae, such as rheumatic heart disease and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. Together these diseases account for an estimated 0.5 million deaths each year worldwide and yet at present there is no licensed S. pyogenes vaccine.

Building on my earlier work on susceptibility to rheumatic heart disease, I am now focussed on understanding how complex genetic regions such as the immunoglobulin gene loci influence acquisition of antibody-mediated immunity. My strategy involves using a combination of array genotyping and short-read sequencing alongside more targeted long-read approaches. In the longer term, I expect to be able to exploit these approaches to assist development of much needed vaccines and therapeutics to combat disease caused by a wide range of infectious agents. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rodriguez OL, Gibson WS, Parks T, et al., 2020, A novel framework for characterizing genomic haplotype diversity in the human immunoglobulin heavy chain locus, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:11, ISSN:1664-3224

Auckland K, Mittal B, Cairns BJ, et al., 2020, The human leukocyte antigen locus and rheumatic heart disease susceptibility in South Asians and Europeans, Scientific Reports, Vol:10, ISSN:2045-2322

Parks T, Elliot K, Lamagni T, et al., 2020, Elevated risk of invasive group a streptococcal disease and host genetic variation in the human leukocyte antigen locus, Genes and Immunity, Vol:21, ISSN:1466-4879, Pages:63-70

Macleod CK, Bright P, Steer AC, et al., 2019, Neglecting the neglected: the objective evidence of underfunding in rheumatic heart disease, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol:113, ISSN:0035-9203, Pages:287-290

Parks T, Wilson C, Curtis N, et al., 2018, Polyspecific intravenous immunoglobulin in clindamycin-treated patients with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis., Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol:67, ISSN:1058-4838, Pages:1434-1436

Parks T, Mirabel MM, Kado J, et al., 2017, Association between a common immunoglobulin heavy chain allele and rheumatic heart disease risk in Oceania, Nature Communications, Vol:8, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-10

Parks T, Kado J, Miller AE, et al., 2015, Rheumatic heart disease-attributable mortality at ages 5-69 years in Fiji: a five-year, national, population-based record-linkage cohort study, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:9, ISSN:1935-2727, Pages:1-14

Parks T, Kado J, Colquhoun S, et al., 2009, Underdiagnosis of acute rheumatic fever in primary care settings in a developing country, Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol:14, ISSN:1360-2276, Pages:1407-1413

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