After the completion of a PhD in 2005, Mark was appointed the senior research scientist of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research arm of the Human Helminth Vaccine Initiative, a multi-national collaborative effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop recombinant vaccines against the human parasitic worms, Necator americanus and Schistosoma mansoni.

In 2009, Mark was granted an NHMRC training fellowship to study how molecules in parasite secretions and on the parasite surface influence the host-parasite relationship with a view to develop anti-worm vaccines and novel therapies for autoimmune disorders. Mid-way through 2011 Mark completed part of this work at the Institute of Infection and Immunology Research at the University of Edinburgh and is now continuing this research at James Cook University.

  • Mark’s major research focus involves looking at the functions of proteins from human parasites (specifically helminths, or worms) and how these molecules interact with the host immune system.I am particularly interested in understanding these processes in the context of developing vaccines against parasites of third world populations and finding novel therapies for autoimmune disorders such as asthma.
  • 2011 to present - Research Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns, Qld, Australia)
  • 2009 to 2011 - Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK)
  • 2006 to 2010 - Research Officer, Queensland institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, Qld, Australia)
  • 2001 to 2005 - PhD Student, Queensland institute of Medical Research (Brisbane, Qld, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2011 - Finalist - Australian Museum Eureka Prizes
  • 2010 - Research Australia Griffith University Discovery Award
  • 2009 to 2013 - NHMRC Early Career Training Fellowship

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
Current Funding

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

National Health & Medical Research Council - e-Asia Joint Research Program Funding

Tools to diagnose carcinogenic liver fluke infection

Indicative Funding
$510,337 over 3 years
This program aims to develop molecular tests to diagnose carcinogenic infections with parasitic liver flukes. Throughout Eurasia, ingestion of raw or undercooked fish infected with Opisthorchis species flukes leads to infection, which over decades culminates in fatal liver cancer. Sensitive point-of-care tests to diagnose fluke infection are urgently needed and will be the focus of this proposal.
Alex Loukas and Mark Pearson in collaboration with Javier Sotillo-Gallego, Olga Fedorova, Philip Felgner and Thewarch Laha (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Yale University, University of California and Khon Kaen University)
Liver Fluke; Parisitology; Diagnostic; Carcinogenic infections; OpisThorchis

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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 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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  • E4.107, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
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