Institute of Immunity and Transplantation


Arne Akbar

Professor of Immunology

Research area

Leukocyte differentiation and ageing in humans.

Research programme

Research summary

My group investigates mechanisms that control the differentiation and senescence/ageing of human T lymphocytes. We were also one of the first to identify human regulatory T cells and show that they are maintained by a high rate of proliferation in vivo.

For the last 15 years my laboratory has focused on mechanisms of immune decline during ageing and we have identified a key role of p38 MAP kinase signalling in regulating both nutrient and senescence sensing pathways in human T cells.

We also developed new technology for investigating immunity in human skin in vivo that have been adopted by other research groups in both academia and the biotech industry. Current collaborations using these methods include those with The University of Arizona, The Rockefeller University (New York) and the National University of Singapore.

The interaction between clinicians and scientists in my group has facilitated the translational aspects of our work that has led to the recent award of a MRC Experimental Medicine Grant (Akbar PI; £3.2 million) to investigate responses to recall antigen challenge in the skin of older humans after blocking p38MAP kinase.


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