Portrait of Professor Michael Ginger Professor Michael Ginger

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m.ginger@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472106


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 and Scholarship

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 c 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.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Harmer, J., Qi, X., Toniolo, G., Patel, A., Shaw, H., Benson, F., Ginger, M. and McKean, P. (2017) ‘Variation in Basal Body Localisation and Targeting of Trypanosome RP2 and FOR20 ProteinsProtist , 168 (4), pp. 452-466. ISSN 1434-4610


Gabald�n, T., Ginger, M. and Michels, P. (2016) ‘Peroxisomes in parasitic protistsMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology , 209 (1-2), pp. 35-45. ISSN 0166-6851

Jackson, A., Otto, T., Aslett, M., Armstrong, S., Bringaud, F., Schlacht, A., Hartley, C., Sanders, M., Wastling, J., Dacks, J., Acosta-Serrano, A., Field, M., Ginger, M. and Berriman, M. (2016) ‘Kinetoplastid Phylogenomics Reveals the Evolutionary Innovations Associated with the Origins of ParasitismCurrent Biology , 26 (2), pp. 161-172. ISSN 0960-9822


Sunter, J., Benz, C., Andre, J., Whipple, S., McKean, P., Gull, K., Ginger, M. and Lukes, J. (2015) ‘Modulation of flagellum attachment zone protein FLAM3 and regulation of the cell shape in Trypanosoma brucei life cycle transitionsJournal of Cell Science , 128 (16), pp. 3117-3130. ISSN 0021-9533

Shameer, S., Logan-Klumpler, F., Vinson, F., Cottret, L., Merlet, B., Achcar, F., Boshart, M., Berriman, M., Breitling, R., Bringaud, F., Butikofer, P., Cattanach, A., Bannerman-Chukualim, B., Creek, D., Crouch, K., de Koning, H., Denise, H., Ebikeme, C., Fairlamb, A., Ferguson, M., Ginger, M., Hertz-Fowler, C., Kerkhoven, E., Maser, P., Michels, P., Nayak, A., Nes, D., Nolan, D., Olsen, C., Silva-Franco, F., Smith, T., Taylor, M., Tielens, A., Urbaniak, M., van Hellemond, J., Vincent, I., Wilkinson, S., Wyllie, S., Opperdoes, F., Barrett, M. and Jourdan, F. (2015) ‘TrypanoCyc: a community-led biochemical pathways database for Trypanosoma bruceiNucleic Acids Research , 43 (D1), p. D637-D644. ISSN 0305-1048


Ginger, M (2014) ‘Protein moonlighting in parasitic protistsBiochemical Society Transactions , 42 (6), pp. 1734-1739. ISSN 0300-5127

Moran, J., McKean, P. and Ginger, M. (2014) ‘Eukaryotic Flagella: Variations in Form, Function, and Composition during EvolutionBioScience , 64 (12), pp. 1103-1114. ISSN 0006-3568

Hayes, P., Varga, V., Olego-Fernandez, S., Sunter, J., Ginger, M. and Gull, K. (2014) ‘Modulation of a cytoskeletal calpain-like protein induces major transitions in trypanosome morphologyThe Journal of Cell Biology , 206 (3), pp. 377-384. ISSN 0021-9525

Voncken, F., Brown, R., Collingridge, P., Gull, K., Rigden, D. and Ginger, M. (2014) ‘Evidence for Loss of a Partial Flagellar Glycolytic Pathway during Trypanosomatid EvolutionPLoS ONE , 9 (7), p. e103026. ISSN 1932-6203

Andre, J., Kerry, L., Qi, X., Hawkins, E., Drizyte, K., Ginger, M. and McKean, P. (2014) ‘An Alternative Model for the Role of RP2 Protein in Flagellum Assembly in the African TrypanosomeJournal of Biological Chemistry , 289 (1), pp. 464-475. ISSN 0021-9258


Andre, J., Harrison, S., Towers, K., Qi, X., Vaughan, S., McKean, P. and Ginger, M. (2013) ‘The tubulin cofactor C family member TBCCD1 orchestrates cytoskeletal filament formationJournal of Cell Science , 126 (23), pp. 5350-5356. ISSN 0021-9533

Koumandou, V., Wickstead, B., Ginger, M., van der Giezen, M., Dacks, J. and Field, M. (2013) ‘Molecular paleontology and complexity in the last eukaryotic common ancestorCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , 48 (4), pp. 373-396. ISSN 1040-9238

Ginger, M., Collingridge, P., Brown, R., Sproat, R., Shaw, M. and Gull, K. (2013) ‘Calmodulin is Required for Paraflagellar Rod Assembly and Flagellum-Cell Body Attachment in TrypanosomesProtist , 164 (4), pp. 528-540. ISSN 1434-4610

Clarke, M., Lohan, A., Liu, B., Lagkouvardos, I., Roy, S., Zafar, N., Bertelli, C., Schilde, C., Kianianmomeni, A., B�rglin, T., Frech, C., Turcotte, B., Kopec, K., Synnott, J., Choo, C., Paponov, I., Finkler, A., Heng Tan, C., Hutchins, A., Weinmeier, T., Rattei, T., Chu, J., Gimenez, G., Irimia, M., Rigden, D., Fitzpatrick, D., Lorenzo-Morales, J., Bateman, A., Chiu, C., Tang, P., Hegemann, P., Fromm, H., Raoult, D., Greub, G., Miranda-Saavedra, D., Chen, N., Nash, P., Ginger, M., Horn, M., Schaap, P., Caler, L. and Loftus, B. (2013) ‘Genome of Acanthamoeba castellanii highlights extensive lateral gene transfer and early evolution of tyrosine kinase signalingGenome Biology , 14 (2), p. R11. ISSN 1465-6906

Basu, S., Leonard, J., Desai, N., Mavridou, D., Tang, K., Goddard, A., Ginger, M., Lukes, J. and Allen, J. (2013) ‘Divergence of Erv1-Associated Mitochondrial Import and Export Pathways in Trypanosomes and Anaerobic ProtistsEukaryotic Cell , 12 (2), pp. 343-355. ISSN 1535-9778


Ginger, M., Sam, K. and Allen, J. (2012) ‘Probing why trypanosomes assemble atypical cytochromecwith an AxxCH haem-binding motif instead of CxxCHBiochemical Journal , 448 (2), pp. 253-260. ISSN 0264-6021

Jackson, A., Berry, A., Aslett, M., Allison, H., Burton, P., Vavrova-Anderson, J., Brown, R., Browne, H., Corton, N., Hauser, H., Gamble, J., Gilderthorp, R., Marcello, L., McQuillan, J., Otto, T., Quail, M., Sanders, M., van Tonder, A., Ginger, M., Field, M., Barry, J., Hertz-Fowler, C. and Berriman, M. (2012) ‘Antigenic diversity is generated by distinct evolutionary mechanisms in African trypanosome speciesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 109 (9), pp. 3416-3421. ISSN 0027-8424


Fritz-Laylin, L., Ginger, M., Walsh, C., Dawson, S. and Fulton, C. (2011) ‘The Naegleria genome: a free-living microbial eukaryote lends unique insights into core eukaryotic cell biologyResearch in Microbiology , 162 (6), pp. 607-618. ISSN 0923-2508

Brennand, A., Gualdr�n-L�pez, M., Coppens, I., Rigden, D., Ginger, M. and Michels, P. (2011) ‘Autophagy in parasitic protists: Unique features and drug targetsMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology , 177 (2), pp. 83-99. ISSN 0166-6851

Duszenko, M., Ginger, M., Brennand, A., Gualdr�n-L�pez, M., Colombo, M., Coombs, G., Coppens, I., Jayabalasingham, B., Langsley, G., Lisboa de Castro, S., Menna-Barreto, R., Mottram, J., Navarro, M., Rigden, D., Romano, P., Stoka, V., Turk, B. and Michels, P. (2011) ‘Autophagy in protistsAutophagy , 7 (2), pp. 127-158. ISSN 1554-8627


Ginger, M., Fritz-Laylin, L., Fulton, C., Cande, W. and Dawson, S. (2010) ‘Intermediary Metabolism in Protists: a Sequence-based View of Facultative Anaerobic Metabolism in Evolutionarily Diverse EukaryotesProtist , 161 (5), pp. 642-671. ISSN 1434-4610

Gluenz, E., Ginger, M. and McKean, P. (2010) ‘Flagellum assembly and function during the Leishmania life cycleCurrent Opinion in Microbiology , 13 (4), pp. 473-479. ISSN 1369-5274

Collingridge, P., Brown, R. and Ginger, M. (2010) ‘Moonlighting enzymes in parasitic protozoaParasitology , 137 (09), pp. 1467-1475. ISSN 0031-1820

Fritz-Laylin, L., Prochnik, S., Ginger, M., Dacks, J., Carpenter, M., Field, M., Kuo, A., Paredez, A., Chapman, J., Pham, J., Shu, S., Neupane, R., Cipriano, M., Mancuso, J., Tu, H., Salamov, A., Lindquist, E., Shapiro, H., Lucas, S., Grigoriev, I., Cande, W., Fulton, C., Rokhsar, D. and Dawson, S. (2010) ‘The Genome of Naegleria gruberi Illuminates Early Eukaryotic VersatilityCell , 140 (5), pp. 631-642. ISSN 0092-8674

Ginger, M., McFadden, G. and Michels, P. (2010) ‘The evolution of organellar metabolism in unicellular eukaryotesPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 365 (1541), pp. 693-698. ISSN 0962-8436

Ginger, M., McFadden, G. and Michels, P. (2010) ‘Rewiring and regulation of cross-compartmentalized metabolism in protistsPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 365 (1541), pp. 831-845. ISSN 0962-8436


Olego-Fernandez, S., Vaughan, S., Shaw, M., Gull, K. and Ginger, M. (2009) ‘Cell Morphogenesis of Trypanosoma brucei Requires the Paralogous, Differentially Expressed Calpain-related Proteins CAP5.5 and CAP5.5VProtist , 160 (4), pp. 576-590. ISSN 1434-4610

Rigden, D., Michels, P. and Ginger, M. (2009) ‘Autophagy in protists: examples of secondary loss, lineage-specific innovations, and the conundrum of remodeling a single mitochondrionAutophagy , 5 (6), pp. 784-794. ISSN 1554-8627

F�l�p, V., Sam, K., Ferguson, S., Ginger, M. and Allen, J. (2009) ‘Structure of a trypanosomatid mitochondrial cytochrome cwith heme attached via only one thioether bond and implications for the substrate recognition requirements of heme lyaseFEBS Journal , 276 (10), pp. 2822-2832. ISSN 1742-464X

Allen, J., Sawyer, E., Ginger, M., Barker, P. and Ferguson, S. (2009) ‘Variantc-type cytochromes as probes of the substrate specificity of theE. colicytochromecmaturation (Ccm) apparatusBiochemical Journal , 419 (1), pp. 177-186. ISSN 0264-6021


Ginger, M., Portman, N. and McKean, P. (2008) ‘Swimming with protists: perception, motility and flagellum assemblyNature Reviews Microbiology , 6 (11), pp. 838-850. ISSN 1740-1526

Allen, J., Ferguson, S. and Ginger, M. (2008) ‘Distinctive biochemistry in the trypanosome mitochondrial intermembrane space suggests a model for stepwise evolution of the MIA pathway for import of cysteine-rich proteinsFEBS Letters , 582 (19), pp. 2817-2825. ISSN 0014-5793

Long, S., Jirk?, M., Mach, J., Ginger, M., Sutak, R., Richardson, D., Tachezy, J. and Luke�, J. (2008) ‘Ancestral roles of eukaryotic frataxin: mitochondrial frataxin function and heterologous expression of hydrogenosomal Trichomonas homologues in trypanosomesMolecular Microbiology , 69 (1), pp. 94-109. ISSN 0950-382X

Allen, J., Jackson, A., Rigden, D., Willis, A., Ferguson, S. and Ginger, M. (2008) ‘Order within a mosaic distribution of mitochondrial c-type cytochrome biogenesis systems?FEBS Journal , 275 (10), pp. 2385-2402. ISSN 1742-464X


Griffiths, S., Portman, N., Taylor, P., Gordon, S., Ginger, M. and Gull, K. (2007) ‘RNA Interference Mutant Induction In Vivo Demonstrates the Essential Nature of Trypanosome Flagellar Function during Mammalian InfectionEukaryotic Cell , 6 (7), pp. 1248-1250. ISSN 1535-9778


Davidge, J., Chambers, E., Dickinson, H., Towers, K., Ginger, M. and McKean, P. (2006) ‘Trypanosome IFT mutants provide insight into the motor location for mobility of the flagella connector and flagellar membrane formationJournal of Cell Science , 119 (19), pp. 3935-3943. ISSN 0021-9533

Broadhead, R., Dawe, H., Farr, H., Griffiths, S., Hart, S., Portman, N., Shaw, M., Ginger, M., Gaskell, S., McKean, P. and Gull, K. (2006) ‘Flagellar motility is required for the viability of the bloodstream trypanosomeNature , 440 (7081), pp. 224-227. ISSN 0028-0836

Ginger, M (2006) ‘Niche metabolism in parasitic protozoaPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 361 (1465), pp. 101-118. ISSN 0962-8436


Ginger, M (2005) ‘Trypanosomatid Biology and Euglenozoan Evolution: New Insights and Shifting Paradigms Revealed through Genome SequencingProtist , 156 (4), pp. 377-392. ISSN 1434-4610

Ginger, M., Ngazoa, E., Pereira, C., Pullen, T., Kabiri, M., Becker, K., Gull, K. and Steverding, D. (2005) ‘Intracellular Positioning of Isoforms Explains an Unusually Large Adenylate Kinase Gene Family in the Parasite Trypanosoma bruceiJournal of Biological Chemistry , 280 (12), pp. 11781-11789. ISSN 0021-9258


Allen, J., Ginger, M. and Ferguson, S. (2004) ‘Maturation of the unusual single-cysteine (XXXCH) mitochondrialc-type cytochromes found in trypanosomatids must occur through a novel biogenesis pathwayBiochemical Journal , 383 (3), pp. 537-542. ISSN 0264-6021

Briggs, L., Davidge, J., Wickstead, B., Ginger, M. and Gull, K. (2004) ‘More than one way to build a flagellum: comparative genomics of parasitic protozoaCurrent Biology , 14 (15), p. R611-R612. ISSN 0960-9822

Pullen, T., Ginger, M., Gaskell, S. and Gull, K. (2004) ‘Protein Targeting of an Unusual, Evolutionarily Conserved Adenylate Kinase to a Eukaryotic FlagellumMolecular Biology of the Cell , 15 (7), pp. 3257-3265. ISSN 1059-1524


Roberts, C., McLeod, R., Rice, D., Ginger, M., Chance, M. and Goad, L. (2003) ‘Fatty acid and sterol metabolism: potential antimicrobial targets in apicomplexan and trypanosomatid parasitic protozoaMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology , 126 (2), pp. 129-142. ISSN 0166-6851

Barry, J., Ginger, M., Burton, P. and McCulloch, R. (2003) ‘Why are parasite contingency genes often associated with telomeres?International Journal for Parasitology , 33 (1), pp. 29-45. ISSN 0020-7519


Ginger, M., Blundell, P., Lewis, A., Browitt, A., Gunzl, A. and Barry, J. (2002) ‘Ex Vivo and In Vitro Identification of a Consensus Promoter for VSG Genes Expressed by Metacyclic-Stage Trypanosomes in the Tsetse FlyEukaryotic Cell , 1 (6), pp. 1000-1009. ISSN 1535-9778

Conway, C., McCulloch, R., Ginger, M., Robinson, N., Browitt, A. and Barry, J. (2002) ‘Ku Is Important for Telomere Maintenance, but Not for Differential Expression of Telomeric VSG Genes, in African TrypanosomesJournal of Biological Chemistry , 277 (24), pp. 21269-21277. ISSN 0021-9258


Ginger, M., Chance, M., Sadler, I. and Goad, L. (2001) ‘The Biosynthetic Incorporation of the Intact Leucine Skeleton into Sterol by the Trypanosomatid Leishmania mexicanaJournal of Biological Chemistry , 276 (15), pp. 11674-11682. ISSN 0021-9258

Ginger, M., Billett, D., Mackenzie, K., Kiriakoulakis, K., Neto, R., K. Boardman, D., Santos, V., Horsfall, I. and A. Wolff, G. (2001) ‘Organic matter assimilation and selective feeding by holothurians in the deep sea: some observations and commentsProgress in Oceanography , 50 (1-4), pp. 407-421. ISSN 0079-6611


Ginger, M., Prescott, M., Reynolds, D., Chance, M. and Goad, L. (2000) ‘Utilization of leucine and acetate as carbon sources for sterol and fatty acid biosynthesis by Old and New World Leishmania species, Endotrypanum monterogeii and Trypanosoma cruziEuropean Journal of Biochemistry , 267 (9), pp. 2555-2566. ISSN 0014-2956

Ginger, M., Santos, V. and Wolff, G. (2000) ‘A preliminary investigation of the lipids of abyssal holothurians from the north-east Atlantic OceanJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK , 80 (1), pp. 139-146. ISSN 0025-3154


Ginger, M., Chance, M. and Goad, L. (1999) ‘Elucidation of carbon sources used for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and sterols in the trypanosomatid Leishmania mexicanaBiochemical Journal , 342 (2), p. 397. ISSN 0264-6021

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