Rachel Exley is a research scientist based at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at the University of Oxford. After obtaining a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds, she completed a PhD in microbial genetics from the Université Paris XI, France on bacterial physiology. She then moved to Imperial College London to work on an MRF funded project to understand the genetic basis of meningococcal carriage, and the development of novel vaccines. After this, she relocated to the University of Oxford. She has spent more than ten years working to understand the biology of meningococcal and gonococcal infection.
Rachle's major research interests are the development and evaluation of novel vaccine antigens, understanding complement resistance of meningococci, and structure:function studies of Type four pili which enable the bacterium to adhere to human cells. Additionally, Rachel helps to organise and teach the Microbiology Course for medical students at the University of Oxford and is a tutor for students at Somerville College.