Section of Infection and Immunity

Led by Professor Graham Cook

We are interested in infection and immunity at the molecular level and our aim is to exploit this knowledge in the understanding and treatment of human diseases. Our research encompasses virology, structural biology, immunology, cancer biology and immunotherapy. We use a variety of approaches in our research, from computational modelling and basic biomedical research through to translational and clinical studies.

Research Areas

Our section brings together investigators with interests in virology, structural biology, immunology and cancer biology, with an emphasis on the molecular pathways that underpin these processes. Knowledge of the basic biological mechanisms that operate in these systems is being used to inform and design therapeutic approaches in infectious diseases and cancer. Our research includes studies in model systems (including computational modelling), preclinical studies and, both translational studies and clinical trials.

Virology research includes studies of influenza virus, hepatitis C and arboviruses (McKimmie, Griffin) and the use of viruses as therapeutic agents in cancer (Errington-Mais, Samson). Our structural biology interests include computational modelling of membrane protein dynamics (Kalli) and the design of small molecule inhibitors targeting viral ion channels known as viroporins (Griffin).

We are studying how steroids and nuclear receptors regulate cellular responses in cancer and inflammation (Matthews) and how both steroids and immunosuppressive cytokines modulate immunity (Matthews, Salmond, Cook).  We are interested in the basic biology of the immune system, including NK cell and T cell responses (Salmond, Cook), molecular dynamics of immune receptor molecules (Kalli) and the immune responses to viral infection and cancer (several groups), the latter of which includes translational studies and clinical trials (Errington-Mais, Samson). 

All academic staff in the section contribute to teaching in their specialist areas, including the teaching of medical students and undergraduate and postgraduate life sciences students. 

Groups

Professor Graham Cook (Head of Section)
Molecular and Cellular Immunology Group

Dr Stephen Griffin (Deputy Head of Section)
Antivirals and Viral Oncology Research Group

Dr Fiona Errington-Mais
Cancer Immunotherapy Group

Dr Robert Salmond
T Cell Biology Group

Dr Clive McKimmie
Virus-Host Interactions Research Group

Dr Laura Matthews
Nuclear Receptor Research Group

Dr Antreas Kalli
Computational Biophysics of Membrane Proteins

Dr Adel Samson
Translational Cancer Immunotherapy Group