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, drug discovery 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

Breakthrough in fight against neglected tropical disease

Coles - Lymph Node Imaging


The battle between cancer and the immune system

Smith - Trypanosome Lacking Protein

Pathogen Biology

New drugs hope to fight neglected tropical diseases

Examples of Infection and Immunity projects

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. 

LeishPathNet lays the foundations for change in how research and training in pathology is applied to neglected diseases, adding considerable value to the clinical samples that are generously donated by patients for research.

TRINGA A WHO-funded physiologic study using an investigational medical device: a temperature logging vaginal ring.

Academic staff associated with Infection and Immunity

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 James HewitsonLecturer in Biomedical Science at the Centre for Immunology and Infection.

Professor Ian Hitchcock, Professor of Biomedical Sciences: Molecular and Cellular Medicine (Haematological Malignancies, Cytokine Signalling, Thrombosis and Haemostasis).

Dr Daniel Jeffares; Lecturer, genome evaluation; high-throughput sequencing; population genomics; fission yeast; parasite genomics; quantitative genetics.

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

Dr Marika Kullberg, Senior 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, Senior lecturer in Immunology: Biology of small non coding RNAs and their role in infectious disease and cancer.

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

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

Dr Nathalie Signoret, Senior 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.

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

Recent news

York awarded major funding to tackle global challenges

Skin plays significant role in spread of Leishmaniasis


First patient vaccinated in LEISH2a clinical trial


Research Centres linked to Infection and Immunity

York Biomedical Research Institute

Hull York Medical School (HYMS)

Examples of high profile publications

Atypical chemokine receptor 1 on nucleated erythroid cells regulates hematopoiesis. Rot et al. 2017 Nat Immunol

Skin parasite landscape determines host infectiousness in visceral leishmaniasis. Kaye et al. 2017 Nat Commun

Proteasome inhibition for treatment of leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and sleeping sickness. Mottram et al. 2016 Nature

Recombinant polymorphic membrane protein D in combination with a novel, second-generation lipid adjuvant protects against intra-vaginal Chlamydia trachomatis infection in mice.  Lacey, Kaye et al. 2016 Vaccine

Differential Requirements for IL-17A and IL-22 in Cecal versus Colonic Inflammation Induced by Helicobacter hepaticus.  Kullberg et al. 2015 Am J Pathol 

CCR5 susceptibility to ligand-mediated down-modulation differs between human T lymphocytes and myeloid cells.  Signoret et al. 2015 J Leukoc Biol

Suppression of AGO2 by miR-132 as a determinant of miRNA-mediated silencing in human primary endothelial cells.  Lagos et al.  2015 Int J Biochem Cell Biol