Accessibility statement

Mark Coles
Honorary Professor of Immunology



Mark Coles is now an Honorary Professor of Immunology in the Centre for Immunology and Infection and Hull York Medical school since 2017. He obtained his BSc in Microbiology from Cornell University (USA), PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley in Professor David Raulet Laboratory. He did postdoctoral research in Molecular Immunology, National Institute for Medical Research (UK) with Dr Dimitris Kioussis.


  • Cornell University
    BSc in Microbiology
  • University of California, Berkeley
    PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology
  • National Institute for Medical Research (UK)
    Postdoctoral researcher
  • Centre for Immunology and Infection
    Lecturer (2006 - 2010)
  • Centre for Immunology and Infection
    Senior Lecturer (2010 -2016)
  • Centre for Immunology and Infection 
    Professor (2016 - 2017)
    Honorary (2017 - )
  • Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford
    Senior Research Fellow and New Group Leader (2017 - )



  • Cellular differentiation
  • Human embryonic stem cells
  • Stromal cells
  • Haematopoietic stem cells
  • Organogenesis
  • Lymphoid microenvironments
  • Developmental immunology


Imaging and cytometry laboratory, 4D multiphoton imaging, tissue engineering, imaging immune responses, stem cells


  • Stroma: immune interactions in health and disease
    Immune responses occur in specialized microenvironments found in lymphoid tissues. Using fluorescent protein reporters, gene knockouts, bioengineering, multiphoton imaging, gene expression analysis and computer modelling to study the molecular basis of lymphoid tissue development and function.
  • Lymphoid organogenesis
    In several chronic autoimmune disorders, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, lymphocyte infiltration into tissues leads to the formation of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLO) strongly resembling lymph nodes in both structure and function, and also containing a 3D network of stromal cells. Thus, the possibility of therapeutic intervention to disrupt TLO formation has led to the study of Lymph Node and Peyer's patch organogenesis. Our research focuses on early events in LN organogenesis including the cellular origin of LN stroma and the mechanism of T and B cell zone stroma differentiation.
  • Thymus development
    Development of T cells occurs in a specialized lymphoid organ called the thymus. Research in the lab focuses on the role of neural crest derived stromal cells in the development and function of the thymus.
  • Function of lymph node microenvironment
    Efficient adaptive immune responses occur in specialized structures called lymph nodes. Our research analyzes structure function relationships between haematopoietic derived cells and "stromal" elements.
  • Engineering a network of artificial lymph nodes (ALN)
    Utilizing our understanding of LN development we are working on the development of artificial lymph nodes. Utilizing tissue engineering we are working on the development of ALNs to understand fundamental mechanism of LN development and function.
  • Use of human embryonic stem cells (hES) and induced pleuropotent stem (iPS) cells to study the development and function of haematopoietic microenvironment
    Utilizing hES and iPS cells we are using 3D models of the bone marrow microenvironment to study mechanisms of haematopoietic stem cell development and differentiation.

Research group(s)

Katrina Reilly PhD student Prostate cancer
Elizabeth Gothard PhD student Mathematics of wound closure
Emily Taylor PhD student human germinal centre model
Paul Buckley PhD student Simulating adjuvant stimulated immune responses
Jason Cosgrove PhD student Model drive experimentation
Simon Jarrett PhD student Modelling therapeutic intervention in Type 1 diabetes


Previous funding
  • NC3Rs
    Human and Artificial Lymph Nodes: Novel Technology to Reduce and Replace the use of animal models in clinical and developmental immunology (2012-2015)
  • Human Frontiers Science Program 
    Physiological forces in LN development and function: Engineering an Artifical Lymph Node (2009-2012)
  • EPSRC White Rose Tissue Engineering Initiative 
    LSCIDTC: (2008-2013)  
  • Medical Research Council 
    Use of bioenergetic profiling to generate biomarkers of stem cell potential (2009-2011)
  • Medical Research Council 
    The role of IL-7/IL7R interactions in the development, maintenance and organization of the lymph node microenvironment (2007-2010)
  • Candlelighters 
    A model system of paediatric leukaemia using human embryonic stem cells (2007-2010)
  • CASE PhD studentship
    AstraZeneca/BBSRC: High Through-put Imaging of Signaling Pathways in Pericyte - Endothelial cell interactions (2007-2010)
  • White Rose University Consortium/Yorkshire Cancer Stem Cell Network 
    PhD studentship, Modelling the molecular basis of paediatric leukaemia using human embryonic stem cells, (2008-2011)
  • The Royal Society 
    Does innate stimulation during immune responses modify IL-7 expression and stromal cell function in draining lymphoid tissues or at the site of infecton (2008-2009)
  • CASE PhD studentship
    AstraZeneca/BBSRC: Function and Development of Lymphoid Stromal Cells. (2006-2009)
  • Department of Biology, University of York
    Feasibility Study of Technology Platforms for imaging in vitro Predictive Disease Models (2008-2009)
  • Department of Biology, University of York
    Human ES cells (2007-2008)
  • Department of Biology, University of York
    Investigating the role of growth factor signalling in microRNA biogenesis (2009-2010)

Contact details

Professor Mark Coles
Honorary Professor of Immunology
Centre for Immunology and Infection
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328847
Fax: 01904 328844