Professor Duncan Maskell MA PhD FMedSci


  • Marks & Spencer Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science & Food Safety, &
  • Head, CU School of Biological Sciences
  • Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), Cambridge University

Duncan Maskell is the Marks & Spencer Professor of Farm Animal Health, Food Science and Food Safety, and Head of the Veterinary School at the University of Cambridge. He was a student at Gonville and Caius College were he studied for his first degree and PhD (1979-1985). He worked on new vaccines against Salmonella and Bordetella at Wellcome Biotech in the 1980s before moving to the Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford where he worked on bacteria that cause childhood meningitis. From Oxford he moved to Imperial College, London, where his group studied Bordetella lipopolysaccharide, and Salmonella endotoxin.

In 1996 he moved to Cambridge where his group works on many aspects of pathogenesis and immunity to bacteria, including Salmonella spp., Campylobacter jejuni, Bordetella spp., Haemophilus parasuis, Streptococcus suis and Staphylococcus aureus. This work uses various cell and animal models, applying state-of-the-art genomics-based strategies in close collaboration with the Sanger Institute. We have also developed tools for studying innate immunity, especially Toll-like receptors, as well as new air interface respiratory tract organ culture systems. Increasingly we are collaborating with mathematicians and physicists to understand our infection systems at a more sophisticated level.

In 1998 Maskell was a co-founder of Arrow Therapeutics Ltd, a biotech company discovering novel antibacterials and antivirals, which was sold to Astra-Zeneca in 2007.

He is married with two children, and enjoys music, sport, food and wine.