Division of Infection and Immunity


IIT Seminar | Professor Toby Lawrence

17 October 2019, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

'Ontogeny and function of tumour-associated macrophages'

Event Information

Open to



Dr Clare Bennett (Host)


Lecture Theatre 3
UCL Medical School, Royal Free Campus
Rowland Hill Street
United Kingdom

Professor Toby Lawrence of the Centre for Inflammation Biology and Cancer Immunology at King's College London will be speaking at the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation Seminar Series on Thursday 17 October. The seminar will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 at the UCL Medical School Royal Free Campus.

All are welcome to attend. If you would like to meet the speaker after the seminar please contact the host.

About the speaker

The general theme of the lab is the understanding of cell signalling pathways and transcriptional mechanisms that regulate the functional polarisation of macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) in inflammation and immunity. Macrophage and DC activation by microbial pattern recognition receptors, such as Toll like receptors (TLRs), is critical for innate and adaptive immunity and has been extensively studied. However, these cells also play important roles in the resolution of inflammation, maintaining tissue homeostasis and immune-tolerance, but relatively little is understood about the signalling pathways and molecular mechanisms that mediate the functions of macrophages and DC in this context. In infectious diseases and cancer, these mechanisms promote evasion of protective immunity and disease progression. On the other hand, disregulation of these mechanisms may also lead to chronic inflammatory disease and autoimmunity.

Professor Lawrence's previous work showed the prototypical pro-inflammatory transcription factor, Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), actually has an important role in the resolution of inflammation by limiting macrophage activation during infection. In parallel studies, his lab has shown that NF-kappaB activation in tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) maintained an anti-inflammatory phenotype associated with tumour progression and suppression of anti-tumour immunity. More recently, Professor Lawrence's lab discovered that IKKbeta-mediated activation of the canonical NF-kappaB pathway plays a critical role in the maturation of tolerogenic DC and regulatory T cell (Treg) conversion – required to maintain peripheral tolerance and immune homeostasis. Their ongoing studies are focused on further characterisation of the signalling pathways in macrophages and DC that dictate the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory functions or immune-stimulatory versus immune-suppressive activity.

Further information

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