Jenefer Blackwell

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Jenefer Blackwell
Alma materUniversity of Western Australia
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Western Australia
University of Cambridge

Jenefer Blackwell is a Professor of Molecular Parasitology at the Telethon Kids Institute in the University of Western Australia. She studies host susceptibility and resistance to infectious diseases.

Early life and education[edit]

Blackwell went to Methodist Ladies' College, Perth, in 1961.[1] She graduated with First-class honours in Zoology from the University of Western Australia in 1969, and her PhD in 1974.[2] Her dissertation, "The structure of the deme in the frog Crinia insignifera Moore," considered intra-specific divergence in the Western Australian frogs.[3][4]

Research and career[edit]

Blackwell moved to the UK in 1975 and worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for 17 years. She was funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship until 1991.[5] In 1991 Blackwell joined the University of Cambridge, where she raised money to develop the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research as a GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Molecular Parasitology.[1] She chaired the World Health Organization Leishmania Genome Consortium between 1992 and 2003.[5][6][7] Blackwell discovered that cell-mediated immunity is responsible for the genetic risk of visceral leishmaniasis that allows genome-based vaccine development.[8] She contributed to several books and review papers on genomics and leishmaniasis.[9][10][11][12][13] Her research identified that infections caused by Leishmania donovani, Leishmania major and Leishmania mexicana were determined by genes near the H-11 locus.[14]

She returned to University of Western Australia in 2007, where she established a genetics laboratory at the Telethon Kids Institute.[5][15] Here she is researching ear infection and metabolic diseases, genome-wide association studies of otitis media in Western Australian children, the use of metabolomics in emerging diseases and aboriginal genetics.[5] She identified the genetic risk factors for high BMI, rheumatic heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes amongst aboriginal communities.[16][17]

Awards and fellowships[edit]

1994 - British Society for Parasitology Chris Wright Medal[18]

2000 - Leverhulme Medal (Royal Society)[1]

2000 - Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences[19]

2009 - Honorary Doctorate from the University of Khartoum

2015 - Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science[8][20]

2015 - University of Western Australia Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Award[21]


  1. ^ a b c "Blackwell (Miles) - Methodist Ladies' College". Methodist Ladies' College. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  2. ^ Elsevier. "Speakers - Meegid - Elsevier". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  3. ^ "Jenefer Blackwell - The Mathematics Genealogy Project". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  4. ^ Blackwell, Jenefer M (June 1978). "Intra-specific divergence in the Western Australian frog Ranidella insignifera". Heredity. 40 (3): 339–348. doi:10.1038/hdy.1978.41. ISSN 0018-067X.
  5. ^ a b c d "Jenefer Blackwell - Telethon Kids Institute". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  6. ^ Blackwell, Jenefer M. (1997-03-01). "Progress in the Leishmania genome project". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 91 (2): 107–110. doi:10.1016/S0035-9203(97)90187-5. ISSN 0035-9203.
  7. ^ (mw6), www-core. "Visceral Leishmaniasis - WTCCC". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  8. ^ a b Institute, Telethon Kids (2015-05-25), Professor Jenefer Blackwell, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, retrieved 2018-06-01
  9. ^ Leishmania : after the genome. Myler, Peter John., Fasel, Nicolas. Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic. 2008. ISBN 9781904455288. OCLC 171110678.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ Roberts, M. T. M. (2006-02-10). "Current understandings on the immunology of leishmaniasis and recent developments in prevention and treatment". British Medical Bulletin. 75-76 (1): 115–130. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldl003. ISSN 0007-1420. PMID 16847165.
  11. ^ Hart, D. T. (2013-11-27). Leishmaniasis: The Current Status and New Strategies for Control: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute, Zakynthos (Greece), 1987. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461315759.
  12. ^ Walliker, D.; Walliker, David; Chappell, Leslie H. (1996). Genetics of Host and Parasite: Implications for Immunity, Epidemiology and Evolution. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521589369.
  13. ^ Wakelin, Derek (1988). Genetics of resistance to bacterial and parasitic infection. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780850663662.
  14. ^ Cox, F. E. G. (1989). "Cell Biology and Immunology of Leishmaniasis". Leishmaniasis. Boston, MA: Springer US. pp. 255–257. doi:10.1007/978-1-4613-1575-9_31. ISBN 9781461288626.
  15. ^ Australian Academy of Science (2015-05-27), New Fellows 2015: Jenefer Blackwell, Telethon Kids Institute, retrieved 2018-06-02
  16. ^ Anderson, Denise; Cordell, Heather J.; Fakiola, Michaela; Francis, Richard W.; Syn, Genevieve; Scaman, Elizabeth S. H.; Davis, Elizabeth; Miles, Simon J.; McLeay, Toby (2015-03-11). "First Genome-Wide Association Study in an Australian Aboriginal Population Provides Insights into Genetic Risk Factors for Body Mass Index and Type 2 Diabetes". PLOS ONE. 10 (3): e0119333. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119333. PMC 4356593. PMID 25760438.
  17. ^ Gray, Lesley-Ann; D’Antoine, Heather A; Tong, Steven Y C; McKinnon, Melita; Bessarab, Dawn; Brown, Ngiare; Reményi, Bo; Steer, Andrew; Syn, Genevieve (2017-09-26). "Genome-Wide Analysis of Genetic Risk Factors for Rheumatic Heart Disease in Aboriginal Australians Provides Support for Pathogenic Molecular Mimicry". The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 216 (11): 1460–1470. doi:10.1093/infdis/jix497. ISSN 0022-1899. PMID 29029143.
  18. ^ "C.A. Wright Memorial Medal - The British Society For Parasitology". The British Society For Parasitology. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  19. ^ "Professor Jenefer Blackwell | The Academy of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  20. ^ "Jennie Blackwell made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science - Telethon Kids Institute". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  21. ^ "The UWA Research Awards and Honours 2015". News | The University Of Western Australia. Retrieved 2018-06-01.