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Durham University

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Dr Paul Denny, BSc (Hons), PhD

Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43983
Room number: 163
Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43983

Contact Dr Paul Denny (email at


Protozoan parasites are the causative agents of a wide range of important human and animal diseases, including malaria. Current work in Paul's laboratory is focused on furthering the understanding of the role of lipid biosynthesis and membrane trafficking in host-pathogen interactions, with a view to elucidating protozoan specific activities amenable to therapeutic intervention. Previous to his appointment in 2004 Paul worked in research posts at Imperial College London and at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research.

1. Mapping the apicomplexan sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway (with Dr Ehmke Pohl)

2. Targeting protozoan sphingolipid biosynthesis (with Dr Patrick Steel)

3. Antimicrobial peptides as antileishmanials (with Dr Steven Cobb)


Research Groups

Department of Biosciences

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Research Interests

  • Cell Biology
  • Lipid Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Parasitology

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Editorial Board Member, Parasitology (CUP): Term to 31 December 2020
  • 2018: Invited Presentation: CSIR-IICB TRUE, Kolkata, India
  • 2018: Invited Presentation: CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow, India
  • 2018: Key Note Address: CSIR-IICB, Jadavpur Campus, Kolkata, India
  • 2016: Elected Office: Honorary Treasurer of Council of British Society for Parasitology (2016-19)
  • 2013: Elected Office: Member of Council of British Society for Parasitology
  • 2013: Invited Review: The utility of yeast as a tool for cell-based, target-directed high-throughput screening, J.L. Norcliffe, E. Alvarez-Ruiz, J.J. Martin-Plaza, P.G. Steel, P.W. Denny
  • 2012: Guest Editor: Special edition of Biochemistry Research International: Lipid Metabolism as a Therapeutic Target
  • 2012: Presentation at International Meeting: Screening for inhibitors of the Leishmania IPC synthase, BSP-RSC Emerging Paradigms in Anti-Infective Drug Design, LSHTM London (September 2012)
  • 2011: Invited Presentation: Open Lab Foundation, Governing Board Meeting, GSK Tres Cantos, Madrid
  • 2011: Invited Seminar: Spingolipid synthesis and scavenging in the parasitic protozoa (June 2011), Institut für Virologie, Zentrum für Hygiene und Infektionsbiologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg


Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Infectious diseases: Parasites that affect both humans and animals


Selected Grants

  • 2016: Sphingolipid biosynthesis in the parasitic apicomplexan protozoa: divergent enzymes in key host:pathogen interactions. BB/M024156/1
  • 2016: The discovery and characterisation of natural product derived small molecule compounds as novel anti-leishmanials. BBSRC, NPRONET with Hypha Discovery Ltd
  • 2014: Targeting the haemolytic phospholipase PlcHR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a novel drug target. British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (with Dr Ehmke Pohl)
  • 2013: The discovery of natural products as novel antiprotozoals. BBSRC Sparking Impact Award (with Hypha Discovery Ltd)
  • 2013: The plant IPCS as a novel herbicide target. BBSRC Industrial CASE award (with Prof Patrick Steel and Dr Stephen Lindell, Bayer Crop Science)
  • 2012: Antifungals as novel antiprotozoals. N8 Research Partnership (with Prof Debbie Smith, York, and Aureogen Inc, USA)
  • 2011: Kinetoplastid SLS inhibitors. MRC Industrial CASE award (with Dr Patrick Steel and Dr Andy Merritt, MRCT Ltd)
  • 2011: Screening for antileishmanials. GSK Open Lab Award (Dr John Mina, with Dr Patrick Steel)
  • 2011: Structure and Function of the P. aeruginosa PlcHR. Wellcome Trust Project Grant (with Dr Ehmke Pohl)
  • 2011: Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (Hannah Kerr, with Dr Patrick Steel)
  • 2010: Probing the activity of the virulence factor PlcH from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Guildford Bench Award (with Dr Ehmke Pohl)
  • 2007: Academic Research Collaboration Award. British Council
  • 2007: ORS Award (Nilu Wansadipathi)
  • 2007: Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (Clare Harding)
  • 2006: ORS Award (John Mina, with Dr Patrick Steel)
  • 2006: Toxoplasma: sphingolipids in host-parasite interactions, synthesis versus scavenging. BBSRC BB/D52396X/1
  • 2005: Isolation of a protozoan sphingolipid synthase: a potential drug target. Royal Society 2005/R1