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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


since 2003  Group Leader at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

1997-2002  Postdoc in Brian Seed’s lab at Harvard Medical School

1993-1997  Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.) at Humboldt University Berlin



We are interested in how cells defend themselves against infection.

Cells use ‘pattern recognition receptors’ (PRRs) to detect pathogens based on phylogenetically conserved structures. The ligand specificity of PRRs and their site of expression enable cells to determine the identity and subcellular localization of invading pathogens. This complex information is transduced into tailor-made responses optimized to eradicate, for example, Gram-positive bacteria from the cytosol or parasites hiding in vacuoles. Many fundamental aspects of innate immunity are therefore cell autonomous features and the genetic analysis of mammalian somatic cells is a powerful approach to elucidate how cells respond to microbial challenge.

In addition to our long-standing interest in NF-kB and IRF signalling, we wish to understand how cells deploy ubiquitin and autophagy to defend their cytosol against bacterial invasion.



Key publications: 

Randow, F. (2011) How cells deploy ubiquitin and autophagy to defend their cytosol from bacterial invasion. Autophagy 7, 304-309.

Bloor S, Maelfait J, Krumbach R, Beyaert R, Randow F. (2010) Endoplasmic reticulum chaperone gp96 is essential for infection with vesicular stomatitis virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 6970-5.

Thurston, T., Ryzhakov, G., Bloor, S., von Muhlinen, N., and Randow, F. (2009). The TBK1 adaptor and autophagy receptor NDP52 restricts the proliferation of ubiquitin-coated bacteria. Nat Immunol, 1215-1221.

Randow, F., and Lehner, P. J. (2009). Viral avoidance and exploitation of the ubiquitin system. Nat Cell Biol, 527-534.

Bloor, S., Ryzhakov, G., Wagner, S., Butler, P. J., Smith, D. L., Krumbach, R., Dikic, I., and Randow, F. (2008). Signal processing by its coil zipper domain activates IKKgamma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105, 1279-1284.

Ryzhakov, G., and Randow, F. (2007). SINTBAD, a novel component of innate antiviral immunity, shares a TBK1-binding domain with NAP1 and TANK. Embo J 26, 3180-3190.

Cell autonomous innate immunity, i.e. the ability of individual cells to defend themselves against infection
 Felix  Randow
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
Signal Transduction
Immune Evasion
Molecular Biology
Host-Pathogen Interaction
Innate Immunity
Toll-like receptors
Viral pathogenicity