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Professor of Molecular Parasitology and Medicine, St George's, University of London

Sanjeev Krishna is Professor of Molecular Parasitology and Medicine at St. George’s, University of London’s Centre for Infection. He read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and completed a medical degree at Oxford in 1982. He began studies on malaria using a rodent model of infection in Oxford as a student and then as part of elective attachments he became involved in clinical studies in the pioneering Wellcome Trust Unit in Thailand. After completing his general medical training, he returned to laboratory studies towards a DPhil at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. This research laid the foundations for work that Professor Krishna’s group has developed in subsequent decades, by focusing on the potential value of parasite-encoded transport proteins as drug targets, and their contributions to drug resistance. In 1994 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship and in 2007 an ScD by Cambridge University.
Professor Krishna first proposed the idea that artemisinins act by inhibiting the calcium pump of malaria parasites, a suggestion that has stimulated much research on resistance mechanisms and development of new drug classes. He has identified and developed novel potential drug targets for treating malaria such as the hexose transporter of the parasite. Increased pfmdr1 copy number has been identified as an important mechanism causing treatment failure with some antimalarials.
Professor Krishna’s clinical studies have aimed to optimise the use of existing antimalarials through clinical trials and to develop adjunctive therapies to reduce malaria mortality by studying the pathophysiology of infection. Professor Krishna has collaborated on diagnosis and treatment studies on sleeping sickness, including the recognition of melasoprol resistance in parasites and has worked on improving diagnosis of tuberculosis and Clostridium difficile infections. His contributions have been recognised by election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


  • 1994–2001
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Sciences, St. George's, University of London


  • 2007 
    University of Cambridge, ScD
  • 1990 
    University of Oxford, DPhil
  • 1985 
    Royal College of Physicians, MRCP
  • 1982 
    University of Oxford, BMBcH
  • 1979 
    University of Cambridge, BA (Natural Sciences)


  • 2013
    Expression in yeast links field polymorphisms in PfATP6 to in vitro artemisinin resistance and identifies new inhibitor classes, Journal of Infectious Diseases
  • 2011
    A simplified intravenous artesunate regimen for severe malaria, Journal of Infectious Diseases
  • 2009
    Pre-referral rectal artesunate to prevent death and disability in severe malaria: placebo-controlled trial. , THe Lancet
  • 2008
    Artemisinins: their growing importance in medicine., Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
  • 2006
    Diagnosis of tuberculosis by serum proteomic fingerprinting., The Lancet
  • 2006
    Genome variation and evolution of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, Nature Genetics
  • 2005
    A single amino acid can determine sensitivity of SERCAs to artemisinins., Nature Structural and Molecular Biology
  • 2004
    Antimalarial combinations, The Lancet
  • 2004
    Mefloquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and increased pfmdr1 gene copy number , The Lancet
  • 2004
    Assessment of volume depletion in children with malaria., PLoS Medicine
  • 2003
    The hexose transporter of Plasmodium falciparum is a novel drug target, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA)
  • 2003
    The trypanosomiases, The Lancet
  • 2003
    Artemisinins target the SERCA of Plasmodium falciparum., Nature

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    Development of a handheld antimalarial drug resistance diagnostic device using nanowire technology
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    EU FP7
  • 2010
    Enabling and translating advances in diagnostic and communication technologies to reduce the burden of STIs.
    Funding Source:
    MRC (UK)