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Professor Duncan Maskell FMedSci

Professor Duncan Maskell, FMedSci

Marks and Spencer Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science and Food Safety

Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor (Planning and Resources)

Duncan Maskell is accepting applications for PhD students.

Duncan Maskell is available for consultancy.

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 765692

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Departments and Institutes

Cambridge Infectious Diseases:

Research Interests

The Bacterial Infection Group (BIG) works on a number of different pathogens and covers many aspects of infection ranging from the nature of the bacteria themselves through to the mechanisms involved in the host recognising and resisting infection. The main bacteria worked on include Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni, bordetellae, veterinary streptococci (especially Streptococcus suis), Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus parasuis. We emphasise work leading to an understanding of the host-pathogen relationship, and use techniques ranging from functional genomics to mathematical modelling to try to understand the dynamics of the interactions of bacteria with their hosts. We work at all scales from the molecular to the whole animal, and use tissue-culture cells, in vitro organ culture and whole animal infection models. We are committed to maintaining strong basic research, but do this in the context of finding improved intervention strategies, be they reliant on better husbandry, small-molecule therapeutics, or immunotherapies including vaccination. Our work is as relevant to human infectious disease as it is to infectious diseases of other animals, and we strongly hold the view an approach based on comparative pathology, whereby a natural pathogen is studied in its natural host, is bound to be more productive and useful than studying a human pathogen in a non-natural rodent model.

Main collaborators

  • Professor Tom Humphrey, University of Swansea
  • Dr Mark Stevens, The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh
  • Professor Gordon Dougan, Sanger Institute
  • Professor Julian Parkhill, Sanger Institute
  • Professor Nick Thomson, Sanger institute
  • Professor Peter Horby, University of Oxford
  • Dr Paul Langford, Imperial College, London
  • Dr Andrew Rycroft, Royal Veterinary College
  • Professor Ian Charles, IFR, Norwich
  • Dr Susan Brockmeier, USDA Ames, Iowa
  • Dr Tracy Nicholson, USDA Ames, Iowa
  • Dr Louise Temple, James Madison University, Virginia
  • Dr Stephen Baker, OUCRU, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
  • Dr Hoa Ngo Thi, OUCRU, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
  • Dr Rui Zhou, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China


  • Genomics
  • Bacterial evolution
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Microbiology
  • Pathogenesis
  • Food chain security
  • Infectious disease dynamics
  • Streptococcus suis type 2
  • Systems Biology
  • Immunity
  • MRSA
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Infection
  • Zoonoses
  • Pathogens
  • Salmonella
  • Toll-like receptors
  • Resistance and immunity and infection
  • Swine
  • Haemophilus parasuis
  • Bacteriology
  • Vaccines
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Glasser's pathotyping
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Drug discovery and vaccinology
  • Pattern Recognition Receptors
  • Whole genome sequencing

Key Publications

  • Mather AE, S.W.J. Reid, D.J Maskell, Parkhill J, Fookes MC, Harris SR,. Brown DJ, Coia JE, Mulvey MR, Gilmour MW, Petrovska L, de Pinna E, Kuroda M, Akiba M, Izumiya H, Connor TR, Suchard MA, Lemey P, Mellor DJ, Haydon DT, Thomson NR.(2013) Distinguishable epidemics of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 in different hosts. Science 341: 1514-1517
  • Chaudhuri, R.R., E. Morgan, S.E. Peters, S.J. Pleasance, D.L. Hudson, H.M. Davies, J. Wang, P.M. van Diemen, A.M. Buckley, A.J. Bowen, G.D. Pullinger, D.J. Turner, G.C. Langridge, A.K. Turner, J. Parkhill, I.G. Charles, D.J. Maskell*, M.P. Stevens* (* joint senior authors) (2013). Comprehensive assignment of roles for Salmonella Typhimurium genes in intestinal colonization of food-producing animals. PLoS Genetics  9(4):e1003456.
  • Grant AJ, F.J. Morgan, T.J. McKinley, G.L. Foster, D.J. Maskell, P. Mastroeni (2012). Attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium Lacking the Pathogenicity Island-2 Type 3 Secretion System Grow to High Bacterial Numbers inside Phagocytes in Mice. PLoS Pathogens 8(12):e1003070. 
  • García-Álvarez L., Holden M.T., Lindsay H., Webb C.R., Brown D.F., Curran M.D., Walpole E., Brooks K., Pickard D.J., Teale C., Parkhill J., Bentley S.D., Edwards G.F., Girvan E.K., Kearns A.M., Pichon B., Hill R.L., Larsen A.R., Skov R.L., Peacock S.J., Maskell D.J., Holmes M.A. (2011)   Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with a novel mecA homologue in human and bovine populations in the UK and Denmark: a descriptive study. Lancet Infectious Diseases. 11: 595-603.
  • Langridge, G. C., M. D. Phan, D. J. Turner, T. T. Perkins, L. Parts, J. Haase, I. Charles, D. J. Maskell, S. E. Peters, G. Dougan, J. Wain, J. Parkhill and A. K. Turner (2009). "Simultaneous assay of every Salmonella Typhi gene using one million transposon mutants." Genome Res 19(12): 2308-16. [PubMed]
  • Chaudhuri, R. R., S. E. Peters, S. J. Pleasance, H. Northen, C. Willers, G. K. Paterson, D. B. Cone, A. G. Allen, P. J. Owen, G. Shalom, D. J. Stekel, I. G. Charles and D. J. Maskell (2009). "Comprehensive identification of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium genes required for infection of BALB/c mice." PLoS Pathog 5(7): e1000529. [PubMed]
  • Chaudhuri, R. R., A. G. Allen, P. J. Owen, G. Shalom, K. Stone, M. Harrison, T. A. Burgis, M. Lockyer, J. Garcia-Lara, S. J. Foster, S. J. Pleasance, S. E. Peters, D. J. Maskell and I. G. Charles (2009). "Comprehensive identification of essential Staphylococcus aureus genes using Transposon-Mediated Differential Hybridisation (TMDH)." BMC Genomics 10: 291. [PubMed]
  • Holt, K.E., Parkhill, J., Mazzoni, C.J., Roumagnac, P., Weill F.-X., Goodhead Rance, R., Baker, S., Maskell, D.J., Wain, J., Dolecek, C., Achtman, M. and Dougan, G. (2008) High-throughput sequencing provides insights into genome variation and evolution in SalmonellaTyphi. Nature Genetics. 40: 987-993. [PubMed]