John Boothroyd, Ph.D., is the Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine where he studies the pathogenesis of parasitic infections, most notably Toxoplasma gondii. In addition to his research, he is also heavily committed to undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training, including trainee professional development.
Dr. Boothroyd received his undergraduate degree in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his PhD in Molecular Biology from Edinburgh University in Scotland. He worked as a scientist in the Immunochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Wellcome Research Laboratories, UK, before joining the Stanford faculty in 1982 as a member of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He was Department Chair from 1999-2002 and served as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Training in the School of Medicine from 2002-2005. Currently, in addition to his regular faculty role, Dr. Boothroyd serves as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education for the University.
Dr. Boothroyd has received various awards including being named a Burroughs Wellcome Scholar in Molecular Parasitology in 1986 and an Ellison Medical Foundation Scholar in Global Infectious Diseases in 2002. In 2008 he received the Leuckart Medal from the German Society for Parasitology and in 2016 he was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Scienes. All of these awards reflect the creativity and hard work of the many students and post-docs who have worked with him, over 30 of whom are now in independent faculty positions.
Dr. Boothroyd’s research interests have spanned from viruses such as bacteriophage T7 and Foot and Mouth Disease Virus through to protozoan parasites such as Trypanosoma brucei, the cause of African sleeping sickness, and Toxoplasma gondii, a serious pathogen in newborns and individuals who are immunocompromised. Currently, his lab is focused on the interaction between the animal host and Toxoplasma. Together with their collaborators, the lab asks: (1) how Toxoplasma invades and co-opts almost any cell type from almost any animal; (2) how the parasite persists in the human host; and, 3) how the polymorphic “effectors” that Toxoplasma injects into a host cell produce different disease outcomes in humans.