Our Research

immunology bench

Research in the Division spans Ageing to VZV Vaccine and our research groups and centres belong to either the Research Department of Infection or of the Research Department of Immunology.

Professor Judy Breuer is Head of the Research Department of Infection.
Professor Hans Stauss is Head of the Research Department of Immunology.

Professor Deenan Pillay, Director of the Africa Health Research Institute

Research Groups & Investigators



Professor Arne AKBAR (Ageing, Immune Regulation, Infection, Inflammation, T-Cells)


UCL Biofilms (Biofilms)

Professor Judy BREUER (VZV Vaccine) MRC Centre


Centre for Clinical Microbiology (HIV, Infection, International Capacity Development, Medical Mycology, Microbiology, Respiratory Infection, TB) Centre

Professor Benny CHAIN (HIV, Host-Pathogen Interaction, Immunotherapy, Infection, Inflammation, Innate Immunity) Research Group Page

Dr Bambos CHARALAMBOUS (Biofilms) short

Dr Helen DONOGHUE (Centre for Clinical Microbiology, Honorary)

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Dr Ari FASSATI (Chemical Genetics, HIV, Host Factors, Transmissable Cancer) 

Professor Richard GOLDSTEIN (Pathogen Evolution)

Professor Bodo GRIMBACHER (Primary Immunodeficiency)

Professor Paul GRIFFTHS (CMV, Vaccination, Viruses)

Dr Joe GROVE (Immunology)

Dr Ravindra GUPTA


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ICH Immunobiology (HIV, Immunobiology, T-Cells)


Dr Clare JOLLY (HIV, Host factors, T-Cells) Group Website


Professor Paul KELLAM (Genomics, Host-Pathogen Interaction)

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Professor Mala MAINI (HBV, Immunopathogenesis, Innate Immunity, Liver Immunology, T-Cells, Vaccinationi, Viral Immunology)

Prof Timothy MCHUGH (Centre for Clinical Microbiology, TB, International Capacity Development)

Dr Richard MILNE (CMV, Vaccination, Viruses)

Dr Emma MORRIS/Professor Hans STAUSS (Gene Therapy, T-Cells, Tumour Immunology)



Dr Mahdad NOURSADEGHI (HIV) Research Group Page


Professor Sharon PEACOCK (Bloomsbury Research Institute)

Dr Dimitra PEPPA (HIV, NK Cells, Immunoregulation, HIV Immunopathogenesis)

Professor Deenan PILLAY (HIV, UCL Partners)


Dr Matthew REEVES (Virology)

Dr Helen ROWE (Virology, Stem cells) Research Group Website

Professor David SANSOM (Transplant Immunology)

Dr Benedict SEDDON (T-Cells)

Professor Hans STAUSS/Dr Emma Morris (Gene Therapy, T-Cells, Tumour Immunology, UCLP)

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Dr Yashuhiro TAKEUCHI (Gene Therapy, Viruses)
Professor Richard TEDDER (HIV, Hepatitis B)
Professor Greg TOWERS
(Herpes, HIV, Viruses) Group Website


UCLP Immunology & Transplantation (Professor Hans Stauss)

UCLP Infection (Professor Deenan Pillay)



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Professor Lucy WALKER (Immune regulation, Diabetes) Lab website

Professor Robin WEISS (Emerging Infections, HIV, Influenza, Medical Mycology, Rabies) 

Professor Patricia WOO (Genomics, Rheumatology) 


Dr Jane ZUCKERMAN (Travel Medicine, Vaccinations) 

Professor Alimuddin ZUMLA (Centre for Clinical Microbiology)


Research Themes A-Z


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Ageing (Akbar Group); 


Biofilms (UCL Biofilms Centre)


Chemical Genetics (Fassati Group (Wohl))
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (Griffiths, CMV Research Group)



Emerging Infections (Weiss Group (Wohl))

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Gene Therapy (Professor Mary Collins; Stauss/Morris Group; Dr Yashuhiro Takeuchi (Wohl Virion Research Centre)
Genomics (Professor Paul KellamWoo Group)


HBV Immunopathogenesis (Maini Group)
Herpes (Towers Group)
HIV (Centre for Clinical Microbiology; Fassati Group (Wohl); ICH Immunobiology; Clare Jolly GroupPillay Group; Towers Group; Chain GroupWeiss Group (Wohl))
Host Factors (Fassati Group (Wohl); Clare Jolly Group; Dr Helen Rowe)
Host-Pathogen Interaction (Chain Group; Professor Paul Kellam; Dr Helen Rowe)


Immune Regulation (Akbar Group)
Immunobiology (ICH Immunobiology)
Immunotherapy (Chain Group)
Infection (Akbar Group; Centre for Clinical MicrobiologyChain Group)
Inflammation (Akbar Group; Chain Group)
Influenza (Weiss Group (Wohl))
Innate Immunity (Chain Group; Maini Group)
International Capacity Development (Centre for Clinical Microbiology)

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Liver Immunology (Maini Group)


Medical Mycology (Weiss Group (Wohl); Centre for Clinical Microbiology)
Microbiology (Centre for Clinical Microbiology)

Pathogen evolution (Professor Richard Goldstein)
Primary Immunodeficiency (Professor Bodo Grimbacher)


Rabies (Weiss Group (Wohl))
Respiratory Infection (Centre for Clinical Microbiology)
Rheumatology (Woo Group)

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TB (Centre for Clinical Microbiology)
T-Cells (Akbar Group; ICH Immunobiology; Jenner Group; Clare Jolly Group; Maini Group; Stauss/Morris Group)
Transmissible Cancer (Fassati Group (Wohl))
Transcription (Jenner Group; Dr Helen Rowe)
Travel Medicine (Dr Jane Zuckerman)
Tumour Immunology (Stauss/Morris Group)


Vaccination (Professor Mary Collins; Maini Group; Centre for Virology; Dr Jane Zuckerman);
Viral Immunology (Maini Group)
Viruses (Towers Group; Dr Yashuhiro Takeuchi (Wohl Virion Research Centre); CMV Research Group; Dr Helen Rowe)
VZV Vaccine (Breuer Group)


Research Projects

ICONIC: Infection Response through Virus Genomics

Date added: 24 April 2014

ICONIC is a 3-year research Health Innovation Challenge Fund project funded by the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust running from October 2013.

The project is a collaborative effort led by UCL and involving the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UCLH, PHE, Barts Health, HCVRUK and the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham.

ICONIC aims to utilise next generation sequencing technology, in order to (i) stratify therapy (HIV and Hepatitis C virus used as a case example), (ii) guide hospital infection control responses (Norovirus), and (iii) inform surveillance and epidemiological responses to community outbreaks (Measles and Influenza viruses).

ICONIC will advance the capacity for embedding this new technology within the UK diagnostic environment, in a sustainable and cost effective manner. In so doing, we aim to embed into the NHS the ability to rapidly respond to new and emerging viral infections in the future. 

I&I Project Personnel: Prof Paul Kellam, Dr Zisis Kozlakidis and Dr Dan Frampton.

Contact Name: Zisis Kozlakidis (email)

RID-RTI: Rapid Diagnosis of Respiratory Tract Infections

Date added: 13 November, 2013

RiD-RTI is a 3-year research project funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme running from 2012. 

It is a unique multi-centre project led and coordinated by UCL consisting additionally of two SMEs, Mobidiag (Finland) and Genewave (France); another academic partner, NUIG Galway (Ireland); and a clinical partner, UCLH (UK).

The aims of the RiD-RTI project are to develop and evaluate three diagnostics products for the rapid diagnosis of Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs), based on a novel “sample-in, answer-out” diagnostic platform. The diagnostic products will be designed to be ‘near patient’, reliable, cost-effective and user friendly allowing for the rapid (< 2 hrs) and accurate detection, identification, quantification (for selected targets) and molecular drug susceptibility testing of RTIs.

More information can be sought from the project website which launched earlier this month: www.rid-rti.eu.

Key UCL personnel working on the project are:
Professor Alimuddin Zumla, Principal Investigator (email)
Dr Virve (Vicky) Enne, Scientific Coordinator (email)
Dr Ljuban Grgic, Project Administrator and coordinator (email)

PanACEA (Pan African Consortium for the Evaluation of Antituberculosis Antibiotics)

Date: 5 August, 2013

This research programme is made up of a consortium of scientists from more that 14 countries with skills in clinical trials, pulmonology, mycobacteriology, pharmacokinetics, statistics and delivery of clinical service. This joint initiative comes from the recognition that only by working together across countries and disciplines can the spectre of TB be controlled.

The programme website launched this month can much more information:

Work at UCL is led by Professor Tim McHugh, Centre for Clinical Microbiology (email).

PATHSEEK: Automated Next Generation Sequencing for Diagnostic Microbiology

Added: 1 August, 2013

Summary: PATHSEEK is a 3-year research project funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme running from September 2012. 

The project is a collaborative effort led by UCL and involves three further Partners:
Oxford Gene Technology (England),
CLC Bio (Denmark) and
Erasmus Medical Centre (Netherlands). 

PATHSEEK proposes to set up an automated, user-friendly disruptive next generation sequencing platform for use in diagnostic microbiology.  The platform will utilise target enrichment methods to specifically sequence the genetic material of single or multiple pathogens, and relevant host biomarkers, from a single specimen.

PATHSEEK will also develop user-friendly bioniformatics software for use in the diagnostic environment.  The platform will be developed using the following target pathogens: Influenza A, cytomegalovirus, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Norovirus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Chlamydia trachomatis.

I&I Project Personnel: Professor Judy Breuer, Dr Dan Depledge, Dr Rachel Williams and Ms Helena Tutill

Website link:  www.ucl.ac.uk/pathseek
Contact Name(s):  Judy Breuer (email) or Rachel Williams (email)

Please note this project has concluded.

PreDiCT-TB: Model-based preclinical development of anti-tuberculosis drug combinations

Summary: PreDICT-TB is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) for 5 years from May 2012 and the project led by Professor Tim McHugh, Centre for Clinical Microbiology.

The PreDiCT-TB consortium aims to determine and validate improved methods for pre-clinical drug discovery and development. This will be achieved by integrating multiple in vitro and in vivo models to predict the efficacy of different drug combinations against TB in an aim to identify an optimized decision pathway for the best combination regimens to progress into clinical trials. This a collaborative venture between 22 participants from all around Europe that also includes three pharmaceutical companies. The involvement of the UCL team under the supervision of Professor Timothy D. McHugh will assist the consortium in expertise on defining the mutation rates of the new lead molecules and on the genetic mapping of drug resistant phenotypes (Pope et al. 2008; O'Sullivan et al. 2010) by applying both established and new cutting-edge methodologies in genomics and transcriptomics. These technologies will enable us to define and characterise the mode of action of novel inhibitors, their possible role in the development of drug resistance and their associated fitness cost to the bacteria.

Project website: http://www.predict-tb.eu/

Contact Name(s): Professor Tim McHugh (email) and Dr Dimitrios Evangelopolous.

Sequencing Facilities: Pathogen Genomics Unit

UCL-UCLH Pathogen Genomics Unit

The UCL-UCLH Pathogen Genomics Unit (PGU) is an initiative and collaboration between UCL (Professor Judith Breuer, Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi) and UCLH (Dr Vanya Gant, Dr Eleni Nastouli) established by grants from the Medical Research Council (Breuer, Noursadeghi) and the UCL-UCLH Biomedical Research Centre.

UCL Pathogen Genomics Unit [PGU]

ULCH Pathogen Genomics Unit [PGU]

Lectures & Images

Watch our researchers show and tell...

Professor Ronjon Charaverty: Inaugural Lecture: 30 May 2014

Title: “New immune systems to fight cancer: building in the war zone”
Link to lecture (requires UCL log-on):


Speaker details: Professor Ronjon Chakraverty, Professor of Haematology and Cellular Immunotherapy, IRIS


Dr Clare Jolly (Wohl)

3D tomographic model of cell-cell spread at the T cell virological synapse. Virus (red spheres) is being transmitted from an HIV-1 infected T cell (right, red plasma
membrane) to a target T cell (left, yellow plasma membrane).
Tomography and modelling was performed by Dr Sonja Welsch.


Professor Deenan Pillay (Infection)

Professor Deenan Pillay, Head of the Research Department of Infection and now seconded to Africa's Wellcome Centre delivers a mini-lecture on the challenges of HIV (UCLtv).

On some browsers the video does not play immediately, if this happens, please use this link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/tcCSnR9hoOE.

Page last modified on 22 sep 17 14:41 by Biljana Nikolic