What pathogen has most influenced human history?

Thursday March 4th 2021, 5:30pm – 7pm UK time, on Zoom webinar

Registration: click here to register for the event

SARS-CoV-2 has left no doubt that microscopic pathogens can have a considerable impact at global scale. But epidemics and pandemics are not new, so we would like to reflect on which of these microorganisms have most noticeably changed our world. Are there maybe even examples of positive transformation?



Susan Brigden is an historian of early modern England and Europe.  She was Fellow and Tutor at Lincoln College from 1980 until 2016 and is a Fellow of the British Academy.  She has published on religious change at the Reformation, civic culture, and Renaissance literature and diplomacy.


David Vaux is an Oxford-trained physician and cell biologist with longstanding research interests in the molecular pathology of neurodegeneration, premature ageing and regulation of cancer cell migration.  He has been a fellow of the cancer centre at Yale University and a group leader at the European Molecular biology labs in Heidelberg, and has served in many roles in college and the university, currently as Deputy Head of the Medical Sciences Division.


Angeliki Myrillas-Brazeau is a DPhil candidate affiliated with the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. In her doctoral work, she studies the spread of news about epidemic disease in seventeenth-century Canada, and in particular the manipulation of fear through rumour-spreading to gain or retain power. Her research interests include communication networks, scapegoating, biological warfare, and the effects and consequences of fear. She holds an MA from Queen Mary, University of London and a BA (Honours) from McGill University. She is the recipient of a Keith Murray Graduate Scholarship. 


Emma Lalande is a DPhil in Interdisciplinary Sciences, having completed her Bachelor studies in Biomedical Sciences (majoring in Infection and Cardiovascular Science), also at Lincoln. Currently undertaking research on transcriptional kinetics of genes in E.coli via super-resolution microscopy, her broader interests include antimicrobial resistance and the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogen virulence. She is also the MCR President of Lincoln College, and is delighted to have the opportunity to support the MCR Academic Representatives and wider team through Lincoln Leads. 

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