Infection And Immunity-h272

Infection and Immunity Research

Researchers at York address fundamental aspects of how pathogens interact with their hosts and how the host responds to them.  Much of this work has direct translational potential and work undertaken within the Department’s Centre for Immunology and Infection, run jointly with HYMS, illustrates our integrative approach to modern biomedical research.  Our scientists and clinicians conduct research spanning molecular genetics, immunology, cell biology, and advanced imaging, computational modelling and human clinical trials.


Research undertaken in Infection and Immunity impacts on the global challenge “impacting on health and disease”, through developing novel vaccines, identifying new drug targets and establishing new immunotherapeutic models


Clinical and translational research

New therapeutic vaccine for leishmaniasis

Coles - Lymph Node Imaging


Thymus migration during development

Smith - Trypanosome Lacking Protein

Pathogen Biology

New drugs hope to fight neglected tropical disease

Examples of Infection and Immunity projects

STROMA is an FP7 funded European Marie Curie Training network led from York consisting of academic and industrial researchers looking into the function of these important class of cells in health and disease.

CIDCATS (Combating Infectious Disease: Computational Approaches in Translational Science) is an interdisciplinary PhD Programme in Infectious Disease funded by the Wellcome Trust.  It focuses on Drug Target Development, Predictive Modelling of Pathogenesis and Treatment Response and Development of Novel Tools for Complex Data Analysis.

LEISH1 a first-in-man clinical trial sponsored by the University of York and the York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  Led from York, this clinical trial is the final stage of a Wellcome Trust Translation Award involving researchers from the UK, Germany and India, and represents the first live viral vectored vaccine for this disease to be tested in man.

Academic staff associated with Infection and Immunity

Dr Mark Coles, Senior Lecturer in Immunology: Lymphoid tissue development, stromal cells and tissue remodeling in health and disease.

Dr Allison Green, Senior Lecturer in Immunlogy: immunology of Type I diabetes, with a particular interest in CD8+ T cells and the cytokine TGFbeta.

Dr Ian Hitchcock, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences: Molecular and Cellular Medicine (Haematological Malignancies, Cytokine Signalling, Thrombosis and Haemostasis).

Professor Paul M Kaye, Professor of Immunology: immunology and immunopathology of leishmaniasis, and development of leishmaniasis vaccines.

Dr Marika Kullberg, Lecturer in Immunology: immunology and immunopathology of colitis and functional specialization of CD4+ T cells.

Professor Charles Lacey, Professor of Medicine: development of novel vaccines and microbicides for HIV and other STIs, notably Chlamydia and genital warts.

Dr Dimitris Lagos, Lecturer in Immunology: Biology of small non coding RNAs and their role in infectious disease and cancer.

Professor Norman J Maitland, Director of the YCR Cancer Research Unit: prostate cancer from basic science to the development of new diagnostics and treatment approaches.

Dr Fabiola Martin, Senior Clinical Lecturer in HIV Medicine: clinical trials of new therapies for HIV and HTLV1 infection, and the development of organotypic models of genital tract infection.

Professor Jeremy Mottram, Chair of Pathogen Biology: Leishmania, African trypanosomes, parasite genetic manipulation, macrophages, peptidases,protein kinases.

Dr Adrian P Mountford, Reader in Immunology: immunology of experimental schistosomiasis and mechanisms of skin immunity and remodelling.

Dr Paul Pryor, Lecturer in Cell Biology: host-pathogen interactions focused around the biology of the phagolysosomal compartment of macrophages.

Professor Antal Rot, Chair of Biomedical Sciences

Dr Nathalie Signoret, Lecturer in Immunology: chemokine receptors and their cross talk with TLRs in the regulation of macrophage function.

Professor Deborah F Smith, Professor of Molecular Parasitology: functional post genomic analysis of Leishmania and Trypanosoma and identification of novel drug targets in trypanosomatid parasites.

Dr Pegine Walrad, Anniversary Research Lecturer in Parasite Biology: differentiation of Leishmania, with an emphasis on post transcriptional regulation of gene expression in this and other trypanosomatid parasites.

Professor R Alan Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Parasitology: schistosome biology with an emphasis on genomic and proteomic analysis aimed at identifying vaccine and drug targets.

Dr Marjan van der Woude, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology: control of heterogeneity within bacterial populations, with particular interests in epigenetics and biofilm formation.

Recent news


Research plugs knowledge gap in parasitic disease's infection path


Targeting one enzyme is the key to tackling two tropical diseases

 Neisseria meningitides

New insights into why adolescents carry meningitis-causing bacteria

Research Centres linked to Infection and Immunity

Centre for immunology and Infection (CII)

Hull York Medical School (HYMS)

Examples of high profile publications

Abrogation of CD40-CD154 signals impedes the homeostasis of thymic resident regulatory T cells by altering the levels of IL-2, but does not affect regulatory T cell development. Cuss et al. 2012, Journal of Immunology

Differential RET Signaling Pathways Drive Development of the Enteric Lymphoid and Nervous Systems. Patel et al. 2012, Science Signaling

Phase I randomised clinical trial of an HIV-1CN54, clade C, trimeric envelope vaccine candidate delivered vaginally. Lewis et al. 2011, PLoS ONE

TLR2-dependent pathway of heterologous down-modulation for the CC chemokine receptors 1, 2, and 5 in human blood monocytes. Fox et al. 2011, BLOOD

N-myristoyltransferase inhibitors as new leads to treat sleeping sickness. Frearson et al. 2010, Nature

Inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinases restores immunocompetence and improves immune-dependent chemotherapy against experimental leishmaniasis in mice. Dalton et al. 2010, Journal of Clinical Investigation

miR-132 regulates antiviral innate immunity through suppression of the p300 transcriptional co-activator. Lagos et al. 2010, Nature Cell Biology