UCL Division of Biosciences


Structural Immunology Group

The Structural Immunology Group at UCL is led by Professor Stephen Perkins. Our major research interests lie in solution structural determinations of proteins and their interactions in the immune system, primarily involving the complement proteins and antibodies.

Our major technologies include X-ray and neutron solution scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation. We use the X-ray B21 instrument at the Diamond Light Source and the neutron SANS2d instrument at ISIS, and have used the ID02 and BM29 instruments at ESRF (Grenoble) and the neutron instrument D22 at ILL (Grenoble). We run a Beckman Optima and two Beckman XL-I analytical ultracentrifuges which we make available to other groups at UCL as part of the BioSciences Molecular Interactions Facility. We also possess a surface plasmon resonance Biacore X-100 instrument as part of the Facility, and a dual polarization interferometer. We maintain web sites that detail genetic variants in the complement and coagulation proteins.

Rare missense variants mapped onto structures for complement Factor H (blue) in its complex with complement C3b (gold) and Factor I (green)




PhD/Mres Opportunities in the Group

black and white student in lab

We welcome inquiries from UK and Overseas students who are interested in joining us for a PhD degree course (3-4 years) or an MRes degree (one year).  Professor Perkins is occasionally able to offer studentships. The Department also offers PhD degree programmes although awards are competitive.  All applicants will need to complete an application form. Self-funded applicants should also consult the UCL tuition fees and funding pages

Biosciences Molecular Interactions Facility


The Structural Immunology Group maintains a Molecular Interactions Facility.  Three methods (AUC, SAXS, SANS) involve the study of interactions in solution while two other methods (SPR, DPI) involve interactions at surfaces.  We perform molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo simulations in order to interpret the outcome of the AUC, SAXS and SANS experiments in terms of best-fit molecular models. We perform mass spectrometry studies at the Facility in UCL Chemistry.

The Facility is overseen by Professor Perkins and managed by Jayesh Gor.  It is down to each individual user to dedicate sufficient time to the project and arrange sufficient training from GE or Beckman-Coulter. We are interested in collaborations if this is what you wish to do. 

For all our users (including research students), we usually provide written training protocols and guidance for experimental plans and there is usually someone in the group who is willing to assist with measurements or subsequent data processing.

To access the facility, contact either Professor Perkins or Jayesh Gor

Genetic variants websites

We have pioneered interactive websites that summarise information on genetic variants in the complement proteins (factor H, C3, factor I and membrane cofactor protein, as well as others) and the coagulation proteins of haemophilia (factor VII, factor VIII, factor IX, factor X, and factor XI).

Click on the links below to be taken to the websites

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