Fiona is Professor of Experimental Parasitology in the department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases. Her research interests are centred on protozoan parasites and poultry.
Fiona graduated in 1977 with a degree in Bacteriology and Virology from Manchester University, where she stayed to complete a PhD on vaccinia virus DNA polymerase. After four years as a post-doc in virology at Cambridge Vet School and the department of Pathology, Fiona joined the Houghton Poultry Research Station (which later became the Institute for Animal Health) in 1984 to develop fowlpoxvirus as a replicating vaccine vector for important viral diseases of chickens including infectious bronchitis and Newcastle Disease.
At the end of the 1980's Fiona switched fields to work on protozoan parasites (Eimeria species) of poultry with a focus on understanding how these parasites recognise and invade target host cells. Alongside basic research, she has applied genomic, proteomic and transgenic approaches to Eimeria species and continues to have a strong general interest in the development of new types of vaccines for poultry infectious diseases, working in collaboration with industry.
During her time at the IAH, Fiona held senior managment posts including Head of the Division of Microbiology (2005-2010) and Deputy Director of Science (2008-2010). She joined the RVC at the end of 2010 as Professor of Experimental Parasitology.
Protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria cause coccidiosis, a severe enteritis that affects many livestock species and is most serious in poultry. The parasites are transmitted by the faecal-oral route and they rapidly invade epithelial cells of the gut, causing severe damage and leading to the build-up of heavy parasite loads in the environment. In the absence of measures to control Eimeria parasites, outbreaks of severe clinical coccidiosis with high morbidity and mortality are inevitable.
Fiona's research aims to understand the interaction of Eimeria parasites with the chicken in order to develop better control through vaccination. Much of her research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of parasite invasion and the characterisation of classes of proteins, derived from different parasite subcellular compartments (parasite surface and secretory organelles), involved in the process. Several have been evaluated as potential vaccine antigens in chickens. She has been involved in studies on the cellular invasion of related apicomplexan protozoan parasites through collaboration with a number of other laboratories. Together with Dr Damer Blake at the RVC, she is integrating studies on Eimeria population diversity to predict the likely responses of parasites in the field to the introduction of subunit or vectored-vaccines, and is developing the use of Eimeria parasites as novel vaccine vectors for poultry with support from BBSRC and industry. Together with Professor Declan McKeever, she has recently won funding from the British Egg Marketing Board Trust to begin new work in 2012 on the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae.
Projects in the lab are as follows:
BBSRC Japan Partnering Award: Post-genomic analysis on veterinary apicomplexan parasites 2008 - 2012 50K
BBSRC India Parterning Award: Control of coccidiosis: Eimeria brunetti, a neglected but important pathogen of chickens 2008 - 2012 25K
BBSRC/DfiD 'Combatting Infectious Diseases of Livestock in Developing Countries (CIDLID) project: Anticoccidial vaccine development: the importance of genetic diversity and delivery strategy 2010 - 2013. £867K
BBSRC Industrial Partnering Award: Recombinant vaccines for poultry: the use of attenutated Eimeria acervulina as a novel live delivery vehicle for viral vaccines 2011 - 2014 £638K
BBSRC CASE studentship: Eimeria species as novel anti-bacterial vaccine delivery vehicles 2011-2015
BEMB PhD scholarship: Control of poultry red mite: expression and adminstration of vaccine antigens to poultry 2012-2016
BEMB pump-priming grant: Transcriptome and proteome resources for the poutlry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae. 2012. £10K
- Blake DP, Alias H, Billington KJ, Clark EL, Mat-Isa MN, Mohamad AF, Mohd-Amin MR, Tay YL, Smith AL, Tomley FM, Wan KL (2012). EmaxDB: Availability of a first draft genome sequence for the apicomplexan Eimeria maxima. Mol Biochem Parasitol.
- Clark JD, Oakes RD, Redhead K, Crouch CF, Francis KJ, Tomley FM, Blake DP (2012) Eimeria species parasites as novel vaccine delivery vectors: Anti-Campylobacter jejuni protective immunity induced by Eimeria tenella - delivered cjaA. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.02.002
- Wass MN, Stanway R, Blagborough AM, Lal K, Prieto JH, Raine D, Sternberg MJ, Talman AM, Tomley F, Yates J, Sinden RE (2012) Proteomic analysis of Plasmodium in the mosquito: progress and pitfalls Parasitology Feb 16:1-15
- Amiruddin N, Lee XW, Blake DP, Suzuki Y, Tay YL, Lim LS, Tomley FM, Watanabe J, Sugimoto C, Wan KL (2012) Characterisation of full-length cDNA sequences provides insights into the Eimeria tenella transcriptome BMC Genomics Jan 13;13(1):21
- Lai L, Bumstead J, Liu Y, Garnett J, Campanero-Rhodes MA, Blake DP, Palma AS, Chai W, Ferguson DJP, Simpson P, Feizi T, Tomley FM, Matthews S.(2011) The role of sialyl glycan recognition in host tissue tropism of the avian parasite Eimeria tenella PLoS Pathogens 2011.7(10) e1002296
- Chow YP, Wan KL, Blake D, Tomley F, Nathan S. Immunogenic Eimeria tenella glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored surface antigens (SAGs) induce inflammatory responses in avian macrophages. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25233
- Marugan-Hernandez V, Alvarez-Garcia G, Tomley F, Hemphill A, Regidor-Cerrillo J, Ortega-Mora LM (2011) Identification of novel rhoptry proteins in Neospora caninum by LC-MS-MS analysis of subcellular fractions J. Proteomics 74, 629-42
- Aarthi S, Raj GD, Raman M, Blake D, Subramaniam C, Tomley F (2011) Expressed sequence tags from Eimeria brunetti – preliminary analysis and functional annotation. Parasitol Res 108, 1059-62
- Lai L, Simpson P, Bumstead J, Tomley F, Matthews S (2009) Complete NMR assignments for the second microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain from Eimeria tenella microneme protein EtMIC3. Biomol NMR Assign 3, 175-7
- Tomley FM, Shirley MW (2009) Livestock infectious diseases and zoonoses. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 364, 2637-2642
- Lal K, Bromley E, Oakes R, Prieto JH, Sanderson SJ, Yates JR III, Wastling JM, Sinden RE, Tomley FM (2009) Proteomic comparison of four Eimeria tenella life cycle stages: unsporulated oocyst, sporulated oocyst, sporozoite and second- generation merozoite. Proteomics 9 4566-76
- Lal K, Preito JH, Bromley E, Sanderson SJ, Yates JR III, Wastling JW, Tomley FM, Sinden RE (2009) Characterisation of Plasmodium invasive organelles; an ookinete microneme proteome. Proteomics 9 1142-51
- Belli SI, Ferguson DJ, Katrib M, Slapetova I, Mai K, Slapeta J, Flowers SA, Miska KB, Tomley FM, Shirley MW, Wallach MG, Smith NC. Conservation of proteins involved in oocyst wall formation in Eimeria maxima, Eimeria tenella and Eimeria acervulina. Int. J. Parasitol 39, 1063-70
- Yan W, Liu X, Shi T, Hao L, Tomley FM, Suo X (2009) Stable transfection of Eimeria tenella: constitutive expression of the YFP-YFP molecule throughout the life cycle. Int J Parasitol 39 109-17
- Lal K, Delves MJ, Bromley E, Sanderson SJ, Wastling JM, Tomley FM, Sinden RE. (2009) Plasmodium mdv-1 is important to sexual development and identifies a polarised plasma membrane during zygote development. Int. J. Parasitol, 39 755-61
- Periz J, Ryan R, Blake DP, Tomley FM (2009) Eimeria tenella microneme protein EtMIC4: capture of the full-length transcribed sequence and comparison with other microneme proteins. Parasitol Res. 104, 717-21
- Clark JD, Billington K, Bumstead JM, Oakes RD, Soon PE, Sopp P, Tomley FM, Blake DP (2008) A toolbox facilitating stable transfection of Eimeria species. Mol Biochem Parasitol 162 77-86
- Xia D, Sanderson SJ, Jones AR, Prieto H, Yates J, Bromley E, Tomley FM, Lal K, Sinden RE, Brunk B, Roos D, Wastling J (2008) The proteome of Toxoplasma gondii: Insights into gene expression and annotation. Genome Biology 9 R116
- Ferguson DP, Sahoo V, Pinches RA, Bumstead JM, Tomley FM, Gubbels M-J (2008) MORN1 has a conserved role in asexual and sexual development across the Apicomplexa. Eukaryot Cell 7 696-711
- Sanderson SJ, Xia D, Prieto H, Yates J, Heiges M, Kissinger J, Bromley E, Lal, K, Sinden B, Tomley F, Wastling JM (2008) Determining the protein repertoire of Cryptosporidium parvum sporozoites: a multi-directional approach. Proteomics 8 1398-1414
- Carruthers VB, Tomley FM (2008) Receptor-ligand interaction and invasion: Microneme proteins in apicomplexans. Subcellular Biochem. 47 33-45.
- Periz J, Gill AC, Hunt L, Brown P, Tomley F. (2007) The microneme proteins EtMIC4 and EtMIC5 of Eimeria tenella form a novel ultra-high molecular mass protein complex that binds target host cells. J Biol Chem 282 16891-8
- Ling K.H, Rajandream M.-A, Rivailler P, Ivens A, Yap S–J, Madeira AMBN, Mungall K, Yee WY, Bankier AT, Carroll F, Durham AM, Peters N, Loo S-S, Mat-Isa MN, Novaes J, Quail M, Rosli R, Mariana NS, Sobreira TJP, Tivey A, Wai,S.-F, White S, Wu X, Kerhornou A, Mohamed R, Shirley M, Gruber A, Berriman M, Tomley F, Dear PH, Wan K.-L (2007) Sequencing and Analysis of Chromosome 1 of Eimeria tenella Reveals a Unique Segmental Organisation. Genome Research 17 311-9
- DJP Ferguson, SA Campbell, FL Henriquez, L Phan, E Mui, TA Richards, SP Muench, M Allary, JZ Lu, ST Prigge, F Tomley, M Shirley, DW Rice, R McLeod, CW Roberts (2007) Enzymes of type II fatty acid synthesis and apicoplast differentiation and division in Eimeria tenella. Int J Parasitol, 37, 33-51