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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Understanding the mechanisms of pathogenesis caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites plays a key role in understanding infectious diseases.

Pathogenesis – literally how disease (pathos) begins (genesis) or develops –- is a broad, important area of research encompassing both basic and clinical sciences. In infectious diseases, pathogenesis commonly occurs as a consequence of complex interactions between an infecting pathogen and the immune system. In order to understand how a particular pathogen causes disease it is critical to determine how host immunity (including both the innate and acquired arms of the immune system) resists infections. Our researchers here at Cambridge are working advancing our understanding of the interactions between resident and invasive microbes and the immune system and the implications of these findings for human and animal health.

Explore Campus

Immunity and infection research is closely intertwined at the University, and includes a number of research groups and programmes studying host-pathogen interactions:

Emergency medicine doctor
Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
Dr Jonas Dutra   Albarnaz
Research Associate, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
Viral immunology: How vaccinia virus evades the host immune response to infection
Postdoctoral Scientist at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Leo James Group
Research Associate at Lulla Lab, Department of Pathology
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like pathways in malaria and other parasites
Dr Stephen  Baker
Department of Medicine, CITIID.
Molecular microbiologist; enteric infections in developing countries with an emphasis on Norovirus, Shigella spp. and Salmonella Typhi.
 Katherine   Bellis
Research Assistant, Clinical School
I work on elucidating the basis of S. aureus carriage in the human nasopharynx.
PhD Student at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Exploring virulence and pathogenesis of cholera through phylogenetics, functional genomics, and immunology.
Dr Katherine  Brown
Department of Physics
Development of Therapeutics for Bacterial Infectious Diseases, including Traumatic Injury Infection and Biothreat Agents
Dr Sebastian   Bruchmann
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Veterinary Medicine
I use functional genomics to study AMR and Host-pathogen interactions in Enterobacteriaceae.
Professor Clare  Bryant
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Innate Immunity; host recognition of infection; immunopharmacology
01223 766232
 Daniel   Buhl
Application of novel mass spectrometry methods for the rapid identification of bacteria and AMR directly from clinical samples
Dr Raymond  Bujdoso
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Senior Lecturer in Molecular Immunology
Prion diseases
Dr Mark  Carrington
Department of Biochemistry
Molecular Cell Biology of Trypanosomes
+44 1223 333683
Postdoctoral Scientist, at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
Dr Anita   Chandra
Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow, Department of Medicine
Honorary Consultant Immunologist
PI3K delta signalling in infection and immunity in humans and mouse models
Dr Ruchi   Chauhan
Research Facilitator, Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences
Facilitates research activities between academic and industry partners via funded exchange programs, educational.
Research Assistant at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR)
Host-pathogen cell biology of obligate intracellular bacteria
Dr Betty   Chung
Department of Pathology
Translation control; gene expression mechanisms; ribosome profiling; RNA structure and function
Clinician scientist at Department of Pathology
Working on HIV neuropathogenesis and persistence in the brain
Professor Anne  Cooke
Professor of Immunobiology
01223 333907
 Audrey   Crousilles
PhD Student, Department of Biochemistry
Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence and the glyoxylate shunt.
Dr Delphine   Cuchet- Lourenco
Research Associate, Medicine
I have particular interest in understanding susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) and mycobacterial infection.
Research Associate in Microbial Genomics, Department of Veterinary Medicine
 Janet  Deane
Principal Investigator, Cambridge Institute Medical Research (CIMR)
Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions during bacterial infection
Professor David  Dunne
Epidemiology and Immunology of Schistosomiasis and other Human Parasitic Diseases.
 Davide  Eletto
My research interests span the molecular mechanisms underlying primary immuno-deficiencies and human genetics
Dr Michaela  Fakiola
Understanding the role of HLA-DRB1 molecules in driving the host immune responses against Leishmania parasites
Dr Brian  Ferguson
Innate recognition of viruses and vaccine development
Professor Andres  Floto
Department of Medicine
The response of Macrophages and Dendritic cells to bacterial and mycobacterial infection.
 Samuel   Forster
CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Sam's work combines microbiology, immunology and computational analysis to interactions between the microbiota and pathogen
Dr Effrossyni  Gkrania - Klotsas
A consultant in infectious diseases with an interest in primary and secondary immunodeficiencies and transplantation.
Assistant Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Pathology
Dr Andrew James Grant
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Host-pathogen interactions and the molecular basis of virulence.
Senior Tutor at Lucy Cavendish College
Dr Harriet   Groom
Stanley Elmore Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College
Associated PI in the Department of Medicine
I research the molecular interactions between retroviruses and human cells
Dr. Ian  Groves
Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Research Associate, Department of Pathology
Targeting latent human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection by novel immunotherapeutic strategies in transplant settings
Dr Ewan  Harrison
Career Development Fellow - UKRI Innovation Fellowship, at Wellcome Sanger Institute
Senior Research Associate, Department of Medicine
Honorary Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Genomics of inflamation and immunity. Staphylococcus aureus in humans and animals.
Professor Jonathan Luke Heeney
Comparative Pathology of Viral Infections
Head of the Lab of Viral Zoonotics
Dr Danika  Hill
Research Fellow, Babraham Institute
Lymphocyte Signalling and Development
Studying T cell and antibody responses to global health vaccines
Dr Charlotte   Houldcroft
Assistant professor in virus genomics
Professor in Veterinary Pathology
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow at Rayner's lab, CIMR, University of Cambridge
Biophysics of the blood stage malaria
PhD student in Medical Research, CIMR (Salje's group)
Dr Sarah  Jackson
Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine
I work on understanding the nature of the T cell mediated response to Cytomegalovirus infection.
Dr Aminu   Jahun
Research Associate, Department of Pathology
Covid-19 Genomics (COG-UK) consortium member
Novel sensing mechanisms of non-enveloped viruses.
Dr Francis  Jiggins
The evolution and genetics of insects and their pathogens
01223 333175
 Punita  Juneja
Research Associate, Department of Genetics
Host-parasite interactions, Evolutionary genetics, Aedes aegypti
 Ellis  Kelly
PhD Candidate
Indole signalling in E. coli.
Research Associate at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
 Elizabeth  Klemm
Salmonella host-pathogen interactions
 Narender   Kumar
Senior Bioinformatician at Wellcome Sanger Institute
 Emily  Lees
Dr Helen C Leggett
Research Fellow, Department of Zoology
Social evolution and virulence in parasites by way of experimental evolution of various strains of bacteria and bacteriophages
Dr. Paula  MacGregor
Principal Investigator
Department of Biochemistry
The molecular basis and evolution of host-parasite interactions in African trypanosomes.
Dr Eyal   Maori
Research Associate
+44 (0) 1223339040
 Pietro  Mastroeni
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Professor of Infection and Immunity
Bacterial pathogenesis, immunology, vaccines and antibiotics.
Dr Catherine J. Merrick
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pathology
Basic biology of the human malaria parasite and impact of this biology on virulence. Molecular genetics and cell biology
Dr Yorgo   Modis
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Reader in Virology and Immunology
01223 267282
Dr Nicola   Moloney
Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biochemistry
My research utilises proteomics to better understand the interactions between African trypanosomes and their hosts.
 Rita  Monson
Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry
Secondary metabolite production in different microbes.
Professor Elizabeth  Murchison
Professor of comparative oncology and genetics
 Angalee   Nadesalingam
PhD candidate
Studying the transmission and risk factors of Lassa virus.
PhD Student at Baker's lab, Department of Medicine/CITIID, University of Cambridge
Monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii
Dr Sergey  Nejentsev
Royal Society Research Fellow
 Thomas  O'Brien
PhD Student and Research Assistant
Developing an in vitro model for the stable recapitulation of cystic fibrosis associated polymicrobial communities in the lab.
Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
Host-virus Interactions, Innate Immune responses and signalling, DNA and RNA viruses kinetics and host sensing. Genetics, Proteomics and RNA-Seq.
 Morwan  Osman
TB virulence factors and drug tolerance.
 Nazima   Pathan
Clinical and research interests in inflammation, sepsis , nutrition and the relationship between gut microbiota and the host
Professor Sharon  Peacock
Director, COVID-19 genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and Professor of Public Health & Microbiology
Dr Virginia   Pedicord
Group Leader - Sir Henry Dale Fellow
Research associate/Postdoctoral Scientist
Ken Smith group, Department of Medicine
Development of adaptive response to pathogens and autoimmune diseases
 Velislava   Petrova
Characterisation of B cell immune repertoires in measles infection.
Dr Claire  Raisen
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Postdoctoral Research Associate assisting Professor Mark Holmes
Professor  Lalita  Ramakrishnan
We are interested in understanding the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and the basis of vastly different susceptibilities to this disease.
 Felix  Randow
Cell autonomous innate immunity, i.e. the ability of individual cells to defend themselves against infection
Professor  Julian   Rayner
Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR)/Department of Medicine
High throughput approaches to understand the biology of malaria parasites and prioritise new drug and vaccine targets
 Avinash  Reddy
Graduate Researcher, Department of Genetics
Computational approaches to understand the influence of host-protein molecular interactions on global viral evolution
 Stephanie   Reikine
I am using biophysical tools to understand the properties that underlie TLR9 activation by ssDNA from pathogens.
Royal Society sponsored Daphne Jackson Fellow, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, Cambridge
PhD student, Department of Veterinary Medicine
PhD Student at Vento Lab, Wellcome Sanger Institute
University Assistant Professor, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Department of Pathology; Department of Biochemistry; CIMR
Cell biology of obligate intracellular bacteria
 Renata  Schaeffer
Assistant Director for Biological Sciences & EU Matters, RO
Research support for School of Biological Sciences and EU funding
Senior Research Fellow, Department of Zoology
What I do: I am developing methodologies to detect, isolate, sequence and match ancient antibodies (degraded immunoglobulin proteins)
Research Interests: Immunology, protein degradation, ancient DNA, palaeoproteomics, infectious diseases
Dr Sebastian   Schornack
Gatsby Research Group Leader
We study plant processes underlying the accommodation of beneficial and pathogenic microbes.
 Shabih  Shakeel
Postdoctoral Scientist, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
I am a structural virologist. In past I worked on Picornaviruses structure and assembly. Currently working on E3 ligases.
 Katherine   Sharrocks
Academic Clinical Fellow in Infectious Diseases
Dr Vikash  Singh
Department of Pathology
Deciphering actin signalling mechanisms hijacked by numerous pathogens to gain entry and establishing systemic infection. Bacteriology, Signalling, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Salmonella, Shigella.
Dr Alex  Smith
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Molecular microbiologist using glycoengineering approaches to develop vaccines to prevent bacterial disease in chickens
Professor Kenneth  Smith
Department of Medicine
Basic immunological mechanisms, and how defects in regulatory control of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity and alter defence against infection.
PhD Student, Duque-Correa Lab, Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
 Hazel   Stewart
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Pathology
Working on RNA regulatory structures within RNA viral genomes
Research Assistant at CITIID – Department of Medicine
PhD Rotation Student (BBSRC DTP), Department of Biochemistry
 Martyn  F.  Symmons
Biomedical Researcher at Department of Veterinary Medicine
Currently I work on protein:protein interactions in innate immunity and phagocytosis using our confocal microscope facility in the Physics of Medicine centre. I also work on molecular modelling of signalling complexes and viral RNAs. I previously worked o
MPhil Student at Pathogens and Microbes, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Bacteriophage and Bacteria co-evolution
Professor John  Trowsdale
Professor of Immunology
+44 (0)1223 330248
 Emem-Fong   Ukor
Understanding and predicting acute pulmonary exacerbations in adults with Cystic Fibrosis
Senior Research Associate
Department of Biochemistry
 Ross   Waller
Molecular Cell Biology and Evolution of Apicomplexan Parasites
+44 (0)1223 766057
Dr Tracy  Wang
Animal pathogens, vaccine, antimicrobial resistance and functional genomics
Dr Lin  Wang
Research associate, Department of Genetics
Research Associate studying the impact of antigenic and genetic diversity of dengue virus (DENV) on driving DENV's transmission and disease risks.
 Arporn   Wangwiwatsin
Recently started PhD student aiming to look at interactions between liver fluke parasite and its host.
Professor of Viral Immunology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
I use cutting-edge proteomics to identify and characterise novel aspects of innate antiviral immunity.
01223 767811
Professor Jeremy  Wells
Department of Veterinary Medicine
Host-microbial interactions, mucosal immunology, bacterial infection and immunity, intestinal-health related research.
 Laura   Williamson
Investigating host-pathogen interactions during BK Polyomavirus infection. Working in the Crump Lab.
 Shona   Wilson
The immunology and epidemiology of human schistosomiasis
Vet, BBSRC PhD Candidate, Resident of the European College of Veterinary Public Health
Livestock associated AMR in the UK and its implications for public health and the livestock industry.
Dr John  Wright
Innate immune sensing of bacterial pathogens
 Gavin  Wright
I am interested in extracellular receptor-ligand interactions for host-pathogen interactions and reverse vaccinology.
Visiting scholar at Department of Veterinary Medicine
PhD Student at CITIID – Department of Medicine
 Ziyue   Zeng
Isolating and investigating generalised transducing LamB-dependent phages from the environment
Dr Zenon   Zenonos
Rayner Lab, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Genetic modification of Plasmodium falciparum