I obtained my PhD in 2011 at University of Valencia (Spain) with high honours under the supervision of Dr. Rafael Toledo and J. Guillermo Esteban. My interests during my PhD were the host-parasite interactions at a proteomics and immunological level in the Echinostoma-rodent. In 2012 I was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at James Cook University at the laboratory of Alex Loukas. 

My research focus is the analysis of the proteomes and secretomes of parasites and how they orchestrate a parasitic existence. I am also interested in the host-parasite relationships, with a particular emphasis on soil-transmitted helminths (e.g. hookworms, whipworms, roundworms) and water-borne trematodes such as Schistosoma spp. I have described the excretory-secretory proteins of different helminths and have been involved in in analyses of large-scale sequence datasets generated from a range of parasites (i.e. transcriptomes). I recently focused my attention to study small-secreted parasitic vesicles (exosomes) and their implication in parasite-host communication and the modulation of the host’s immune response.

  • Proteomics of helminths
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • 2013 to present - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2012 to 2013 - Proteomics Laboratory Manager, James Cook University (Cairns, Australia)
  • 2006 to 2010 - PhD student, University of Valencia (Valencia, Spain)
  • 2008 - Visiting scientist, The Queen's University of Belfast (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2006 to 2010 - PhD fellowship by Ministry of Education (Spain)
  • 2004 to 2005 - Honours student fellowship
  • 2013 - Current member of the Australian Society for Parasitology
  • 2008 - Current member of the Spanish Society for Proteomics
  • 2006 - Curent member of the Spanish Society for Parasitology
  • 2013 - Reviewer for scientific journals such as PLoS NTD and Journal of Helminthology
  • 2011 to 2012 - Grant reviewer for the Spanish Agency of Evaluation and Research (ANEP)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 55+ research outputs authored by Dr Javier Sotillo-Gallego from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Institutes of Health - RO1

Carcinogenic liver fluke infection: Gene editing- and vaccination-mediated approaches to interrupt host-parasite communication

Indicative Funding
$825,674 over 5 years (administered by George Washington University)
Long term infection with liver fluke - a food-borne parasitic worm - leads to cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a form of liver cancer with a dismal prognosis. Previously we identified proteins and vesicles from these parasites that may cause this cancer. This new project will investigate the roles of these parasite proteins and vesicles in cancer, which may lead to new treatments and control for fluke infection and CCA
Alex Loukas, Michael Smout and Javier Sotillo-Gallego (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Cancer; Infectious disease; Parasite; CRISPR/Cas9; Vaccines

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

Secreted exosome-like vesicles from the carcinogenic liver fluke

Indicative Funding
$742,660 over 4 years
Parasitic worms secrete molecules from their oral openings and outer surfaces as they feed and reproduce inside their human hosts. These molecules are referred to as Excretory/Secretory (ES) products, akin to our saliva and sweat. These ES products represent the molecular interface of the host-parasite relationship. We recently showed that ES products from the parasitic liver fluke, a worm that is a major cause of liver cancer throughout parts of SE Asia, are taken up by cells lining the human bile ducts, the site where the parasite resides for years at a time. Until now the mechanisms by which these molecules are taken up and internalised by host cells was unknown. We now show that liver fluke ES proteins enter into human bile duct cells by forming small cell-like vesicles called exosomes. Once the flukes exosomes get inside human bile duct cells they induce a series of changes inside the cell which typifies the early stages of cancer formation. We now propose to better characterise the process of exosome uptake by human bile duct cells and exploit this information to discover vaccines to combat this carcinogenic infection and develop new tools to identify people who are most at risk of developing cancer from liver fluke infection.
Alex Loukas, Javier Sotillo-Gallego and Thewarch Laha in collaboration with Paul Brindley, Jeffrey Bethony, Banchob Sripa and Jason Mulvenna (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Khon Kaen University, George Washington University and Queensland Institute of Medical Research)
Opisthorchis viverrini; Liver Cancer; Exosome; Excretory/secretory; Bile duct

Australian Society for Parasitology - Researcher Exchange - Training & Travel Award

Schistosoma transfer ? travel grant

Indicative Funding
The technique I will learn at Ruperti's laboratory at the National Research Council (Italy) will allow us to transfer adult schistosomes from one host into a recipient host. This surgical procedure consists in transferring live adult schistosomes obtained from mice (or other hosts) into the mesenteric veins of recipient mice. The major advantage of this technique is that adults obtained from a host can be treated in different ways and by transferring them back into new hosts we can study the survival rate of the treated worms. This will help us identify the key genes and proteins involved in parasite establishment and survival and develop new and more effective vaccines and drugs against this devastating disease.
Javier Sotillo-Gallego (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Schistosoma; Schistosomiasis; Transfer technique

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • The Impact of Hookworm Infection and Hookworm Anti_inflammatory Proteins on Diabetes in Mice. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Characterization of the excretory/secretory molecules and extracellular vesicles from Schistosoma haematobium and their role in host-parasite relationships (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Curing Asthma with Human Hookworm Proteins (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Schistosome exosomes - immunobiology and vaccine efficacy (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • E4.101, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
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