Infection driving disease processes

Research in the ‘Infection driving disease’ node employs multidisciplinary approaches to infection by bringing together researchers from infectious diseases, microbiology, respiratory medicine and gastroenterology to generate new approaches to infection and host defence. We work on a variety of pathogens causing a range of infections. A key focus in the node is on the mechanisms by which inflammatory and structural cells respond to pathogens and how dysregulation of host defence may lead to disease. Node members are also interested in elucidating the mechanisms by which pathogens subvert or bypass such defences to establish infection and how infections can exacerbate many established diseases. Research in the node employs cutting edge techniques that utilise both in vitro and in vivo systems performed across a wide range of species ranging from invertebrates, through fish to man as well as cell and organ culture models. Clinical research interests of node members lie in infectious diseases (both bacterial and viral), lung disease and gastroenterology.

Node Leader:

Professor Colin Bingle Colin’s interests are in the biology of the pulmonary epithelium. At the basic level his work is focused on epithelial cell specific differentiation within the respiratory tract in it’s widest sense. At a more translational level his work employs both in vivo and in vitro approaches to study host/pathogen interactions and innate immunity in the respiratory tract using both viral and bacterial infections.


Node Members:

Dr Paul Collini Paul focuses on understanding the long-term consequences of HIV infection and its treatment on lung health. Starting from the HIV clinic, his work reaches from investigations of the altered immunological and virological environment of the lung to measurement of the physiological and clinical expression of pneumococcal infection and chronic lung disease in those with HIV on antiretroviral therapy.


Professor Alison Condliffe Allison focuses on innate immune cells such as neutrophils, studying how they defend us from respiratory pathogens but also may induce collateral damage to surrounding tissues such as respiratory epithelial cells. She has a particular interest in targeting the PI3-kinase and hypoxia signalling pathways to improve the outcome of host-pathogen interactions.


Dr Thomas Darton


Dr Thushan de Silva


Dr Simon Johnston Simon’s lab studies macrophage biology and host pathogen interactions. His work combines in vitro immune cell and in vivo zebrafish experimental models with multidisciplinary work with engineers, physicists and mathematicians to answer questions about normal immunity to infection and opportunistic infections of the immunocompromised.


Dr Matthew Kurien


Dr Ryan MacDonald


Dr Helen Marriott Helen’s research focuses of the role of macrophage apoptosis in host defence against pathogens. In particular, her work focuses on Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Influenza A Virus and combines in vivo, in vitro and mathematical models.


Dr Lisa Parker Lisa’s research interests focus on how respiratory pathogens, particularly rhinovirus, trigger or exacerbate airway inflammation and disease. The aim is to identify how respiratory viruses infect and elicit proinflammatory responses in airway epithelial cells and determine how the response that is generated can be modified.


Dr Lynne Prince Lynne’s research interests centre around how neutrophil cell death is dysregulated during infection and inflammation. Her work has a particular emphasis on leukocyte interactions with Staphylococcus aureus.


Professor Stephen Renshaw Steve has interests in molecular regulation of inflammation and host-pathogen interactions. Inflammation work focuses on how inflammation resolves, how this fails and restoration of normal inflammation resolution in pathological settings. Host-pathogen interaction work revolves around subversion of bactericidal responses by Staphylococcus aureus and the intersection of inflammation and infection. Our model of choice is transparent transgenic zebrafish larvae, which we pioneered for studies of immunity.


Professor Ian Sabroe Ian has interests in science, clinical medicine, and medical humanities. His work studies how innate immunity contributes to and regulates airways and other inflammatory diseases, including vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension. His clinical work is in the fields of asthma and of pulmonary hypertension. He undertakes interdisciplinary research in medical humanities, with a particular interest in narrative medicine research.


Professor Jonathan Sayers


Dr Jonathan Shaw John’s Interests are in host pathogen interactions, especially with regards to colonisation, motility and surface interaction. His work focuses on glycosylation of bacterial proteins involved in virulence, the regulation of bacterial pathogenicity and the role of bacterial physiology during microbial infection of the host.


Dr Mark Thomas Mark’s research interests are in virulence mechanisms of pathogenic members of the genus Burkholderia, particularly B. cenocepacia and B. pseudomallei. His areas of interest include iron acquisition mechanisms, protein toxins and effectors, sensing and responding to environmental stress within the host.


Research Areas:

To be confirmed.