Michael Ginger

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Personal profile


Michael graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1993 with a first class Honours degree in Biochemistry. He remained in Liverpool to complete his PhD, using classical biochemistry and analytical chemistry approaches to study lipid biosynthesis in pathogenic Leishmania and Trypanosoma parasites. The PhD was supervised by Drs John Goad and Michael Chance. A Wain Fellowship taken to the Universitat de Barcelona next saw Michael learn something of the molecular biology of lipid biosynthesis in plants before a return to Liverpool and post-doctoral research with Professor George Wolff. Here, the project involved application of analytical methods to address how seasonal deposition of organic matter helps support dynamic, diverse communities of large, sediment-feeding invertebrates in the deep-sea.

Following the brief, but enjoyable, foray into deep-sea biology, Michael resumed his interest in parasites taking successive post-doctoral positions in the Universities of Glasgow (with Professor David Barry), Manchester, and Oxford (with Professor Keith Gull CBE FRS) to study the molecular and cellular biology of trypanosomes. Whilst in Oxford, Michael was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to study protist metabolism and cell biology and also held a non-stipendary lectureship with Brasenose College. He moved to Lancaster University in July 2007, stepping from his Royal Society Fellowship in 2011 as a senior lecturer, before promotion to Reader (2012) and finally Head of Division for Biomedical and Life Sciences (2015). Michael joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Biochemistry and Head of Department for Biological Sciences in April 2016.

Research Expertise and Interests

Working with a small research team and through collaboration with groups in the UK and abroad, Michael is interested in the atypical metabolism and evolutionary cell biology of parasitic and free-living protists. Ongoing projects include (i) characterisation of the unique way in which trypanosomatids (and their nearest relatives) add heme to their mitochondrial cytochromes and (ii) metabolic flexibility in the alga Euglena gracilis – a distant relative to the parasitic trypanosomatids.

In Huddersfield, Michael is also returning to the field of deep-sea biology using analytical and genomic approaches to understand how communities of sediment-feeding invertebrates thrive in deep-sea ocean plains despite a paucity of organic matter in these abyssal environments and thus, impact on carbon cycling. This work involves collaboration with Professor George Wolff from Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Professor Michael Ginger


  • Atypical Metabolism
  • Evolutionary Cell Biology
  • Parasitic Protists
  • Free-Living Protists
  • Deep-Sea Biology

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Research Output 2013 2018

A centriolar FOP-like protein required for paraflagellar rod assembly, but not axoneme assembly in African trypanosomes: Trypanosome FOPL function

Harmer, J., Towers, K., Addison, M., Vaughan, S., McKean, P. & Ginger, M. 21 Jun 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Open Biology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Microtubule-Organizing Center
Basal Bodies

Farming, slaving and enslavement: Histories of endosymbioses during kinetoplastid evolution

Harmer, J., Yurchenko, V., Nenarokova, A., Lukeš, J. & Ginger, M. 13 Jun 2018 In : Parasitology. 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Variation in Basal Body Localisation and Targeting of Trypanosome RP2 and FOR20 Proteins

Harmer, J., Qi, X., Toniolo, G., Patel, A., Shaw, H., Benson, F. E., Ginger, M. L. & McKean, P. G. 1 Aug 2017 In : Protist. 168, 4, p. 452-466 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Basal Bodies
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
Giardia lamblia
37 Citations

Kinetoplastid Phylogenomics Reveals the Evolutionary Innovations Associated with the Origins of Parasitism

Jackson, A. P., Otto, T. D., Aslett, M., Armstrong, S. D., Bringaud, F., Schlacht, A., Hartley, C., Sanders, M., Wastling, J. M., Dacks, J. B., Acosta-Serrano, A., Field, M. C., Ginger, M. L. & Berriman, M. 25 Jan 2016 In : Current Biology. 26, 2, p. 161-172 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Making the pathogen: Evolution and adaptation in parasitic protists

Ginger, M. & Field, M. C. 1 Sep 2016 In : Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 209, 1-2, p. 1-2 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial