PROF Marshall Lightowlers

PROF Marshall Lightowlers


  • Parasite vaccines (hydatid disease, cysticercosis, Echinococcus, Taenia)



  • Melbourne Laureate Professor Marshall Lightowlers is Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council and Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at The University of Melbourne. Professor Lightowlers’ research career has focused on the immunology and molecular biology of taeniid cestode parasites. He was a member of a team of scientists which developed the first recombinant vaccine against a parasitic disease. Subsequently he has sought to development similar vaccines against infection with the larval stages of cestode parasites causing zoonotic infections in humans. This led to the development of highly effective, recombinant vaccines against cysticercosis in cattle and pigs caused by Taenia saginata and Taenia solium, respectively. In collaboration with researchers at Wallaceville New Zealand, he and his colleagues also produced a recombinant vaccine against infection with hydatid disease. The effectiveness of these vaccines makes them unique in helminth parasitology and they provide valuable models for the development of vaccines against other eukaryotic parasites. Professor Lightowlers’ vaccines against Taenia solium and Echinococcus granulosus are undergoing further development and optimization in preparation for their practical use. Application of the vaccines will be expected to reduce the transmission of these parasites and thereby reduce the number of new human cases of hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis. In October 2008 Professor Lightowlers’ vaccine against Taenia solium received more than $4M support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines and Medicines (GALVmed). Professor Lightowlers has served as President of the Australian Society for Parasitology and has been awarded the society’s Bancroft-Mackerras Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Science of Parasitology.   


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, The University of Western Australia 1978
  • BSc Hons, The University of Western Australia 1974

Awards and honors

  • Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, International Association for Hydatidology, 2013
  • President's Prize, Australian Veterinary Association, 2012
  • Laureate Professor, University of Melbourne, 2011
  • Bancroft-Mackerras Medal, Australian Society for Parasitology, 1998



Available for supervision

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