Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair



CITR comprises several research groups:


Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology Group

Professor Chambers is Director of the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair (UCL Respiratory) and is Vice-Dean (Innovation & Enterprise) for the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences.


Professor Chambers’ research programmes are aimed at unravelling the signalling and transcriptional programmes underlying the development of acute and chronic lung injury, with a particular focus on fibrotic lung disease, acute lung injury and the stromal response in lung cancer. Recent work has identified a critical role for the mTOR signalling hub in mediating the fibrogenic effects of the potent pro-fibrotic cytokine, TGF-β1.

Professor Chambers' group encompasses an active and dynamic mix of post-doctoral scientists, clinician scientists and PhD students and is supported by grants obtained from major funding agencies, including The Medical Research Council, The British Lung Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and The Rosetrees Trust.

Professor Chambers is also academic lead of the Experimental Medicine Initiative to Explore New Therapies (EMINENT) consortium. EMINENT represents a unique collaborative network, funded up to £8M by the MRC matched in-kind by GSK and brings together investigators from University College London (UCL), the University of Cambridge, the University of Glasgow, the University of Newcastle, Imperial College London and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to enable experimental medicine studies aimed at enhancing understanding of disease mechanisms and accelerating development of novel therapeutics for patients in under-served disease areas (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/eminent-consortium/)

Respiratory Infection Group

Professor Brown leads a research group investigating the pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae lung infections and characterising novel vaccines for prevention of S. pneumoniae infections.

Present research focuses on the mechanisms causing inflammatory responses to S. pneumoniae and their consequences during disease development, identifying the mechanisms of natural immunity to S. pneumoniae pneumonia, and investigating potential vaccine candidates.

Pivotal previous findings include the identification of several bacterial lipoproteins vital for S. pneumoniae disease development, the discovery of protein antigen vaccine candidates effective at preventing serious S. pneumoniae infections, and the demonstration of the roles of the complement pathway for innate immunity to S. pneumoniae.


The group is presently funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust, and BBSRC.

In addition,  Professor Brown is developing a translational research programme with Dr Hurst into bronchiectasis.

COPD and Bronchiectasis

Professor Hurst's group address clinically-relevant research questions in COPD and bronchiectasis using translational methodology ranging from interventional drug trials via experimental clinical investigation to laboratory science. 

Our focus is on exacerbations of these common airway diseases, and cardiovascular co-morbidity. 

Reflecting key collaborations across UCL and more widely, the interest and current studies of the group extend to alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, novel lung imaging techniques, the adult consequences of premature lung disease, and respiratory manifestations of primary immunodeficiency. 

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our work.

Leukocyte Trafficking Group

Professor Porter's laboratory investigates  platelet and leukocyte interactions in chronic lung disease with  particular emphasis on the removal of these inflammatory cells during the resolution of inflammation.  

It is hoped that an understanding of these mechanisms may lead to translational benefits in diseases as diverse as asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and infection, that are characterised by inappropriate, excessive or insufficient leukocyte influx. 

Her group also has an interest in the regulation of epithelial integrity and polarity, which may have enormous implications in the fields of lung cancer, lung morphogenesis and repair of the damaged lung. 
Of particular interest is the link between chronic inflammation and lung cancer which although well recognised is not well understood.

Clinically, Professor Porter heads the Centre for Interstitial Lung Disease at UCLH and is involved in several clinical translational studies in patients with pulmonary fibrosis, both idiopathic and in the context of underlying rheumatological disease.  

The IMPACT Study: Intervening with a Manualised Package to Achieve treatment adherence in people with Tuberculosis

The IMPACT study is led by Professor Marc Lipman, Consultant Physician and Associate Professor in Respiratory Medicine, University College London.

Funded by the NIHR, the IMPACT study is a 3 year research project to develop and test a theory-based intervention to support adherence to medication for tuberculosis. It will focus particularly on social groups who have particular issues with taking treatment, and will use a patient-centered approach, looking at personal motivation and social and cultural barriers to adherence.

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