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Infection, Immunology & Inflammation

The Infection, Immunology and Inflammation (III) Theme is a major grouping of cross-disciplinary expertise that brings together around 250 group leaders and post-doctoral researchers from across UCL.

By working together, UCL III researchers are increasing our understanding of diseases, such as HIV, TB, malaria, asthma, arthritis, and cancer.  This cross-disciplinary culture also provides an excellent training environment for PhD students and post-doctoral scientists.

The UCL III community comes together once a year for the III Symposium, which showcases research activity and stimulates new collaborations.

Below are details and some videos of previous talks at UCL III symposia:

The 2016 UCL Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Symposium was held on Tuesday 8 November at the UCL Institute of Education.

This event, organised by the UCL Personalised Medicine Domain and held in partnership with Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), UCLPartners, and the National Institute for Health Research BRC Infection, Immunity and Inflammation (III) Programme,  brought researchers together from across UCL, QMUL and beyond, enabling cross-disciplinary interaction and encouraging new collaborations.

Eminent speakers from UCL and QMUL presented their ground-breaking work.

The Symposium also featured another popular abstract competition for early career researchers in both the basic and clinical sciences. 

Early career researcher prizes:

  • Presentation winner: Dr Neil McCarthy (Blizard Institute, QMUL), for his presentation on ‘Human antigen-presenting yd T-cells promote IL-22 production in naïve and intestinal memory CD4+ T-cells in a TNF-alpha and ICOSL-dependent manner’
  • Poster winner: Lina Petersone (UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation) – ‘Contribution of IL-21 signalling to the phenotype of CTLA-4 deficient mice’
  • Poster runner-up: Dr Anjum B Khan (UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation) – ‘Targeting therapeutic T-cells to the bone marrow niche’
  • Poster runner-up: Dr Natalie Suff (UCL Institute of Women’s Health) – ‘A light-producing mouse model of Infection-related Preterm Birth (PTB)’

This year there was also an additional 3R prize for science or technology development which supports the replacement, reduction and refinement (the 3Rs) of animals in research. The prize was sponsored by the NC3Rs and awarded to Dr Alexander Maini (PhD Student, Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, UCL Division of Medicine) for his poster ‘A Comparison of Human Neutrophils Acquired from Four Experimental Models of Inflammation’



Examples of III Research at UCL

Professor Greg Towers has shown that blocking HIV infection by ‘uncloaking’ the virus particles may provide a new way of preventing infection. This work required expertise from several disciplines including virology, immunology and chemistry.

Bacterial infections
Professor Ali Zumla is leading studies to develop new diagnostic tools and treatments for tuberculosis; work that involves biochemistry, cell biology, clinical trials expertise and international collaborations.

Ageing immune system
Professor Arne Akbar has developed new ways to monitor changes in the aging immune system and is interested in how older people respond to infection and inflammation.  This work requires collaboration across the III Theme, with partnerships in clinical and basic biology as well as industry collaborations.

Other areas of focus across the Theme include:

  • Bacterial infections (e.g.TB, Staph aureas), antimicrobial resistance
  • Viruses (e.g. HIV, VZV), anti-viral immunity, and the development of new anti-viral drugs and diagnostics
  • Parasitic diseases (e.g. malaria)
  • Infectious diseases in children
  • Bacterial and viral disease latency (i.e. periods of dormancy) and reactivation
  • Lung infections and lung inflammation
  • Rheumatic and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes
  • The effect of ageing on the immune system
  • Cancer immunology and immunotherapy
  • Genetic and computational studies of the immune response (which may help manage disease in the future).

Below is a list of researchers who are currently working in the field at UCL. Click on their names to find their contact details and more information about their work.


Infection, Immunology and Inflammation
" "The UCL III community comes together once a year for the III Symposium, which showcases research activity and stimulates new collaborations."