Division of Infection and Immunity


About us

The Research Department of Infection is a world-leading centre of research and teaching in pathogen biology, immune regulation and translational medicine.

Our vision

Our vision is to continue to evolve the Research Department of Infection (RDI) as a centre of world-leading research and teaching on infectious disease. To pursue this vision, we will advance and integrate basic and clinical research to understand and overcome pathogens of global importance and foster excellence and leadership amongst the next generation of scientists and doctors.

Our mission

Our mission rests on a strong foundation of excellence and fundamental discoveries in three inter-connected research areas:

Pathogen Biology

Discovery science aimed at understanding how pathogens work, how they transmit, interact with their hosts and interface with innate and adaptive immune systems. We use pathogens as discovery tools to understand human cell and molecular biology guided by the principles of evolution. The new information uncovered will help define new treatment and vaccination strategies for infectious and immune diseases.

Immune Regulation

Molecular and cellular-level studies of how human pathogens activate, evade and antagonise host innate and adaptive immunity to viruses  (HIV, HCV, HBV and SARS CoV-2) and bacteria (mucosal pathogens and TB). Exploiting these discoveries to inform understanding of pathogenesis and transmission, while identifying new opportunities for novel therapeutic targeting and improved clinical management.

Translational Medicine

Integration of large scale clinical data with molecular, cellular and systems level investigations of pathogenesis and protective immunity in humans, focusing on HIV, Hepatitis B, mucosal bacterial pathogens and tuberculosis. Translation of basic science discoveries into first in man studies of novel approaches to diagnosis, risk stratification, treatment (including cell and gene therapies/ immunotherapies), vaccination and mitigating AMR, evaluated through individual and population level clinical trials.

Our goals

The RDI will pursue the following goals:

  • Successfully integrate our basic and clinical discoveries to understand infectious diseases and translate to interventional strategies to tackle infectious disease.
  • Develop our research capacity through faculty appointments, increased grant and philanthropic funding, recruitment and retention of outstanding early career researchers and expansion of our post-graduate training programme.
  • Encourage collaborations and synergistic interactions within the Division and across UCL; and externally with centres of excellence including Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), the Crick Institute, partner University Hospitals and with industry.
  • Develop and update our research-focused teaching programme, immersing students in our discovery-led research environment, exposing them to cutting-edge topics, techniques, and approaches, enriching the research culture with the RDI and generating a highly competitive cadre of graduates.
  • Build our public engagement programme with schools and communities to improve a two-way dialogue and enhance our ability conduct relevant research at the highest level.