A deeper understanding of pathogen biology and immune system function is underpinning the development of new tools to diagnose, prevent and treat infectious disease.
Pathogens we study
Our interests span many clinically important human pathogens:
- Bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, group B streptococci, as well as MRSA, Clostridium difficile and other healthcare-associated infections.
- Viruses, including HIV, cytomegalovirus, rabies, paramyxoviruses, Ebola and influenza
- Fungi, including Cryptococcus
- Parasites, including the malaria parasite and intestinal helminths
Genome sequencing and bioinformatics
Building on an internationally leading bacterial microarray resource, we have a whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics facility supporting research on bacterial pathogens worldwide.
Characterisation of pathogens based on these approaches is being applied to disease outbreaks, to identify disease epidemiology and transmission networks and to track the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Metagenomic profiling is providing new insight into the natural microflora of the human body and how this is altered in disease, increasing susceptibility to infection.
Our research into mechanisms of drug resistance in bacteria, viruses, fungi and malaria also feeds into resistance-profiling tools and supports the development of new strategies to combat resistance. The Centre for Diagnostics and Antimicrobial Resistance (CDAR), which is part of the Institute for Infection and Immunity, focuses on:
- developing, evaluating and implementing new diagnostic devices
- understanding the origins, spread and impact of antimicrobial resistance
- developing new drugs to replace conventional antimicrobials
We have strong programmes of basic immunological research. We are studying immune responses at mucosal surfaces, particularly lung epithelium.
Our work takes an interest in the innate immune responses used by epithelial cells to resist viral invasion and bacterial colonisation, and in studies that offer insight into susceptibility to infection in a range of pathological conditions and the development of new anti-inflammatory and antiviral drugs.
We have a longterm interest in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) disease associations and are characterising novel innate immune receptors. We are also developing methods to study zoonotic viral infections in their natural hosts.
Our interest in immunity extends to allergic and inflammatory conditions, as well as cancer. In particular we work to develop understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of disease. This is feeding into the design of new drugs for asthma and cancer immunotherapy.
We have important research programmes for drug and vaccine development and for optimisation of therapeutic regimes for global infectious diseases in both adults and children.