July 2018

As the sunshine continues our immunologists are still hard at work.

  • Kathryn Else and Ruth Forman published a paper on novel drug discovery in the context of Trichuris infection: PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Jul 11;12(7):e0006487
  • Rachel Crompton, Helen Williams, Gurdeep Singh, Laura Campbell and Sheena Cruickshank have published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology on the impact of Nod2 and β-defensin in cutaneous wound healing.
  • Andrew MacDonald and Kathryn Else attended the British Society for Immunology conference “Infection and Chronic Disease” in London, where both gave invited talks.
  • Mark Travis and Judi Allen attended the Mucosal Immunology Conference in Oxford where they gave an invited talks and several members of the immunology group attended and presented posters.
  • Sheena Cruickshank met with staff from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement as part of the University’s work towards gaining a watermark for our public engagement work.
  • Sheena attended the opening of the Manchester Environmental Research Institute which she is a member of.
  • Dan Davis is in an episode of Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and Robin Ince, on the immune system, broadcast on Monday July 30th and on iplayer afterwards.
  • dan-latitude-2018At Latitude Festival, Dan joined a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Healthcare’ with Profs. Greg Hannon, Karen Rodham and comedian Robin Ince.
  • At Bluedot Festival, Dan presented The Beautiful Cure on the Mission Control stage on Sunday. Sheena also presented on the same stage about her work on the microbiome as well as talking about her work on Britain Breathing in a panel discussion about pollution and air quality with Vic Gill from the BBC.


June 2018

This month is extra exciting for so many reasons and not just the sunshine! A new Institute has been launched to be based in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH) that will undertake research into the immune system – the activity and regulation of which underpins many acute and chronic diseases affecting the world today.

The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation, named after Manchester-born Lydia Ernestine Becker, a celebrated natural scientist and a leader in the early British suffrage movement, will carry out fundamental research into all aspects of immunology – from the dysregulation of the immune system in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, to its increasing importance in mental health, cardiovascular disease, obesity, pregnancy, infection outcome, cancer and healthy ageing. The Manchester Immunology Group will be a part of this new institution.

Visit: The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation

  • Congratulations to Matt Hepworth who was awarded the prestigious Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine research prize which will provide flexible research funds to support new studies in the lab.
  • Congratulations also go to Richard Grencis whose Wellcome Trust Investigator award was renewed.
  • Congratulations to Josh Casulli from the Travis group who passed his PhD viva on his thesis entitled ‘Determining important pulmonary regulators of immunity to the bacterium Francisella tularensis’.
  • Isle of MayIris Mair and Kathryn Else spent a week working with wild mice on the Isle of May as part of their grant joint with the University of Nottingham exploring the main drivers of immune variation.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was invited to a meeting in Keele University to advise and discuss on their emerging public engagement strategy work.
  • Matt Hepworth gave a seminar at the Blizard Institute on Antigen- presenting Innate Lymphoid Cells.
  • Dan Davis gave a talk at the NK2018 conference in San Antonio, Texas, USA, at EULAR 2018 in Amsterdam, and attended a thrilling 3 day brainstorm event called Sci Foo at Google, California.
  • Dan Davis published on how studying the immune system leads us to new medicines in The Lancet: Davis D.M. 2018 Lancet. 2018 Jun 2;391(10136):2205-2206.
  • Patrick Strangward from the Kevin Couper group with Sheena Cruickshank, David Brough and Stuart Allan published his exciting findings on the cytokine IL133 in cerebral malaria.
  • Kathryn Else and Ruth Forman contributed to a paper on the role of dendritic cell in immunity to Trichuris muris Barry M. Bradford et al “Increased susceptibility to oral Trichuris muris infection in the specific absence of CXCR5+CD11c+”, Immunology.
  • Andrew MacDonald in GermanyAndrew MacDonald was an invited speaker in Germany at The Universities of Wurzburg and Erlangen and at the Wessex Immunology Group Annual meeting in Southampton.  He talked about dendritic cells and macrophages in promotion and regulation of type 2 inflammation, and environmental control of pulmonary macrophages. Sheena Cruickshank was also an invited speaker at the Wessex meeting where she talked microbiota interactions with skin and gut epithelia in the context of inflammation.
  • Kathryn Else, Ruth Forman, Munirah Albaqashi and Ayat Zawawi were invited to attend the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases conference in London where Ruth gave a talk on novel drug discovery.
  • Dan Davis was quoted on new research in The Times and in The Telegraph.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was invited to judge the Manchester finals of the 3MT thesis competition which saw an amazing series of talks from the PG students at UoM. Good luck to the winners for the national final!
  • Sheena Cruickshank spoke about her career, her reasons for studying immunology, passion for the subject as well as discussing faecal transplants on BBC Radio 4 in “The Life Scientific”.

May 2018

This was the hottest May on record and barely a cloud was seen!

  • Congrats to Katie Walwyn-Brown from the Davis group who has been offered a postdoc position in Peter Parham’s lab at Stanford University.
  • Dan Davis published a new paper: Loftus C., Saeed M., Davis D.M.*, Dunlop I.E., Activation of human Natural Killer cells by graphene oxide-templated antibody nanoclusters, Nano Letters.
  • Dan’s lab contributed to this new paper on neuroscience:
    Tordo J., O’Leary C., Antunes A., Palomar N, Aldrin-Kirk P., Basche M., Bennett A., D’Souza Z., Gleitz H., Godwin A., Holley R., Parker H., Liao A.Y., Rouse P., Youshani A.S., Dridi L., Martins C., Pshezhetsky A., Stacey K., Davis D.M., Dyer A., Björklund T., Ali R., Agbandje-McKenna M., Rahim A.A., Waddington S., Linden M., Bigger B., Henckaerts E. A novel adeno-associated virus capsid with enhanced neurotropism corrects a lysosomal transmembrane enzyme deficiency, Brain.
  •  Werner Muller was involved in a study that looks at the role of mast cells in the tumor environment, published in Cell Reports and in a study that determines the role of gp130 dependent cytokines in adipocytes published in the journal Diabetes.
  • Mark Travis and Sheena Cruickshank did an immunology double act as part of the Pint of Science Festival in Manchester
  • Dan and Tim LovejoyDan Davis recorded a podcast with TV presenter Tim Lovejoy (Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch) about Dan’s book The Beautiful Cure. Dan also gave short interviews for BBC Radio Wales, Wired magazine, Saga magazine and The Western Mail.
  • Dan gave the 2018 John Maddox Lecture at the Hay Festival.
  • Sheena Cruickshank contributed to a piece in the Guardian about supporting your immune system. She also contributed a statement about a new paper on the role of immunity in a type of leukaemia that was quoted on CNN and various other US news networks.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was interviewed with the “Naked Scientists” about Britain Breathing and allergies.

April 2018

Happy Easter from the MIG!

  • Andrew MacDonald was an invited speaker at the 13th Congress Francophone d’Allergologie in Paris, where he spoke about environmental control of pulmonary macrophage responsiveness during type 2 inflammation.
  • Andrew also contributed to this paper:


  • The overview of the main achievements of the SysmedIBD project, lead by Werner Muller, has been published on the cordis web page. This article is available in languages of six European countries.
  • Ruth Forman, Kathryn Else and Munirah Albaqashi attended the one day BSI West Midlands regional conference on intestinal inflammation and microbiota, where Ruth presented her work on in vivo macrophage education. Matt Hepworth was an invited speaker at Symposium on Intestinal Inflammation and the Microbiota. Gurdeep Singh from the Cruickshank lab also gave a talk at the meeting too.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was invited speaker at the British Society for parasitology meeting in Wales. She also hosted the science café special about parasites whilst she was there which featured talks about malaria, Cryptosporidium and the potential of hookworm for therapy for inflammatory diseases.
  • Rinal Sahputra from the Else lab was awarded a PLOS Pathogens travel fellowship to attend the Woods Hole Immunoparasitology conference in USA where he gave a talk and presented a poster on the importance of B cells in immunity to Trichuris infections.
  • Ilaria Russo has contributed to two papers:
    • Giurisato E,  Telfer B, Lonardi S, Wang J, Russo I, Gray NS, Vermi W, Tournier C – Myeloid ERK5 deficiency suppresses tumor growth by blocking pro-tumor macrophage polarization via STAT3 inhibition – PNAS 2018.
    • Alnabulsi S, Hussein B, Santina E, Alsalahat I, Kadirvel M, Magwaza RN, Bryce RA, Schwalbe CH, Baldwin AG, Russo I, Stratford IJ & Freeman S – Evaluation of analogues of furan-amidines as inhibitors of NQO2 for potential use in the treatment of cancer and malaria – Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters – 2018
  • Dan Davis has two new papers out:

As a heads up and look to the future – The University of Manchester is hosting the 2019 British Society for Parasitology Annual Spring conference which will be joint with the Belgium and Dutch Parasitology Societies. The local organisers are Ilaria Russo and Kathryn Else, who lead an organising committee which includes Richard Grencis, Jo Pennock, Cathy Walton and Judi Allen along with colleagues at the University of Salford and in Belgium and the Netherlands. The dates to save in your diaries are Monday 15th April 2019 to Wednesday 17th April 2019. We already have an outstanding set of confirmed speakers across a range of topics from cell biology, ecology to host-parasite interactions and the programme involves activities with media city.  Given that one of Manchester’s great international strengths lies in Parasite Immunology  and Parasitology we are delighted to be hosting this conference.

March 2018

This month has seen snow and a real flurry of immunology papers!

  • Joanne Konkel gave a talk in Newcastle on Training immune function at the oral barrier
    Coast - Entebbe
  • Andrew MacDonald and Richard Grencis visited The MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit in Entebbe. Andrew was scouting out schistosome transmission sites for collection of samples for his collaborative work with Allison Elliot. Richard discussed work with Allison and colleagues for their joint Royal Society Award on helminths – the Parasite Paradox. Andrew and Richard also gave update talks on current work in both their labs alongside student and research staff from UVRI prior to round-table discussions.
  • Felipe Melo-Gonzalez from Mark Travis’ and Dave Thornton’s groups published their work with Andrew Macdonald on mucins in Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  • Kathryn Else and Ruth Forman, with Andrew MacDonald and Sheila Brown plus past members of the Else group published a paper reporting that time of day of infection with Trichuris muris influences susceptibility to infection. Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 28;8(1):3782.
  • Richard Grencis’ and Ian Roberts’ paper was published in Science Advances:
    White, E.C., Houlden, A., Bancroft, A.J., Hayes, K.S., Goldrick, M., Grencis, R.K. and Roberts, I.S. (2018) Manipulation of host and parasite microbiotas: Survival strategies during chronic nematode infection. Sci Adv. 4: eaap7399. PubMed
  • Rebecca Shears from the Thornton and Grencis labs for the Grencis published her paper on vaccination against Trichuris. Shears RK, Bancroft AJ, Sharpe C, Grencis RK, Thornton DJ. Vaccination Against Whipworm: Identification of Potential Immunogenic Proteins in Trichuris muris Excretory/Secretory Material. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 14;8(1):4508. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22783-y.
  • Cat Sharpe from the Thornton and Grencis labs published a great review on mucins and helminths Sharpe C, Thornton DJ, Grencis RK. A sticky end for gastrointestinal helminths; the role of the mucus barrier. Parasite Immunol. 2018 Apr;40(4):e12517.
  • Dan Davis published “A nanoscale reorganization of the IL-15 receptor is triggered by NKG2D in a ligand-dependent manner.” SCIENCE SIGNALING 2018 Apr 10;11(525). pii: eaal3606. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aal3606.
  • Andrew MacDonald also contributed to this paper: Circadian clock component REV-ERBα controls homeostatic regulation of pulmonary inflammation.
  • Richard Grencis appeared on the Scientific American Gut Parasites Have Their Own Gut Microbiomes 60 second podcast on the paper.
    Sheena interviewed Angela Saini as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations.
  • Sheena Cruickshank interviewed Angela Saini the author of “Inferior” as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations
  • Sheena Cruickshank’s TEDX talk on the microbiome and health is now available.
  • Dan Davis spoke about the immune system on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch TV show, gave an interview to New Zealand’s This Way Up and featured in an article in Saga magazine
  • Dan recorded an episode of Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey cage, which will be broadcast in July and an episode of Robin Ince’s podcast, Book Shambles.

February 2018

Another jam packed month from our ever busy immunologists

  • Andrew MacDonald gave a seminar at the University of York about dendritic cells and macrophages in promotion and regulation of type 2 inflammation.
  • Kathryn Else gave a talk entitled “Calling time on Neglected Tropical Diseases” at the Manchester Medical Research Student Society National conference.
  • Lizzie Mann, Matt Hepworth, Tovah Shaw and Mark Travis were all at the Cell-Weizmann NextGen Immunology conference at the Weizmann Institute, Feb 11th-14th.
  • The Else group welcomed Dr Iris Mair who will be exploring the drivers of immune variation in wild mice in a BBSRC funded research project joint with the University of Nottingham.
  • Congratulations to Lauren Cholewa from the Hussell group who passed her PhD
  • Eamonn Holmes and Dan Davis discuss Dan Davis’s book, “The Beautiful Cure” has received fantastic reviews in The Guardian, Observer, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, New Scientist, New States
    man, The Mail on Sunday and The Week.  Adam Rutherford, writing in The Guardian, said it is ‘a terrific book by a consummate storyteller and scientific expert’. Prof. Davis was interviewed by Eamonn Holmes on TalkRadio, and the book sparked a feature on Radio 4’s Today program about the immune system (featuring many immunologists including David Brough. You can listen to the full interview via the BBC iPlayer. (approx 1hr 32mins in).  Dan launched The Beautiful Cure on Feb 1st, to 380 people at The Royal Institution, London.
  • Sheena giving her talk at TedX Manchester.Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk entitled “Eat yourself healthy – your microbiome and you” for TedX Manchester. The event was held at the Bridgewater Hall and had approximately 2500 attendees listening to a range of speakers and artists including Andy Burnham and Dan Lett. The talks and performances will all be made available on line later next month.

TedX Manchester stage set.

January 2018

Happy New Year from everyone at the Manchester Immunology group!

Christmas 2017

As ever we have been a busy bunch. Here are some of our highlights from this month:

  • Welcome to Tracy Rimington who joined the MacDonald group as a GSK funded postdoc, working on the impact of dendritic cells on regulatory T cell induction and stability during asthma.
  • Andrew MacDonald gave a seminar at The Crick titled ‘Dendritic cells and macrophages in promotion and regulation of Type 2 inflammation’.
  • Richard Grencis was an invited speaker at the Transatlantic Conference on Lung Diseases: Secreted Mucins in Lung Diseases, held in Lucerne, Switzerland.
  • Matt Hepworth, John Grainger and Jo Konkel attended the Oxford Microbiome Symposium to celebrate the launch of their germ-free facility. Matt presented his labs latest data on regulation of host immune responses to commensal microbiota by innate lymphoid cells.
  • Matt Hepworth and Felipe Melo-Gonzalez contributed to a paper in Immunity investigating how ILC3 migrate to lymphoid structures in the gut in health and disease: Oxysterol Sensing through the Receptor GPR183 Promotes the Lymphoid-Tissue-Inducing Function of Innate Lymphoid Cells and Colonic Inflammation.
  • Sheena Cruickshank published their work on developing English lessons to share research and knowledge about immunology and infection with non-native English speakers: A community-based public engagement with health experiment: Using English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes to empower immigrant communities with science.
  • Daniel Davis published his book The Beautiful Cure and it was reviewed in The Times, The Sunday Times and The Guardian.
  • Dan Davis gave a talk at the Royal Institution attended by over 350 people.
  • Sheena Cruickshank wrote a blog piece with colleagues from the Faculty and UCL to discuss the role of public engagement (PE) with health research and science and how we should rethink PE in the face of worrying trends towards ‘anti-science’ perspectives that have resulted in serious outbreaks of preventable disease. The blog piece introduces PE approaches to bring the wider community into discussions of health and science as genuine participants in their own health futures.
    Read: Rethinking public engagement with health

December 2017

Happy Christmas from the immunology group!

This month saw many of us travel to Brighton to the BSI congress where we listened to amazing talks as well as giving our own talks and poster presentations including Emma Houlder, Rachel Anne Crompton and many more. Kim Mace chaired a session on inflammation and wound healing in which she also presented her work and an array of our PIs including Dan Davis, Tracy Hussell and Amy Saunders all gave talks so there was a splendid turnout from the Manchester group. Particular congratulations go to Felipe Melo-Gonzalez from the Hepworth group who won a Bright Sparks prize for his talk on ILC and mucosal T cell-dependent IgA responses and coating of colonic commensal bacteria.

Congratulations also to Katie Walwyn-Brown from the Davis group and Jesuthas Ajendra from the Allen groups who won prizes for their fantastic posters. For photos of the congress see: Flickr: BSI Congress 2017

  • Irene Nambuya from the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit has been visiting the MacDonald lab to learn more about in vivo models of type 2 pulmonary inflammation, as part of a GCRF funded project. While here, she also attended the BSI in Brighton, and braved her first December weather outside of Uganda!
  • Jo Konkel gave a talk at the IL-17 Summit in Munich; “Tissue-specific control of IL-17 responses in the oral mucosa”.
  • Mark Travis gave a talk at the 11th European Workshop on Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases, Utretcht, entitled ‘Regulation of intestinal immune responses by TGF-beta’.
  • Kathryn Else and Ruth Forman were part of a multi-disciplinary team publishing a paper on a novel drug screening platform to identify new anthelmintics. Partridge FA, et al. Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist. 2017.
  • Dan Davis published this new paper with colleagues at the NIH on the actin cytoskeleton and lytic granule release in NK cells in Chediak-Higashi syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Dec 11. pii: S0091-6749(17)31887-0. Dan’s work was then discussed in the Times, “Thalidomide may help fight killer immune diseases” and is described in this NIH produced video, “Immunology Advance: Understanding Immune Cell Defects in Chediak-Higashi Syndrome“.
  • Sheena Cruickshank and colleagues in the School of Computer Sciences and Health Sciences published their first paper on the citizen science project, Britain Breathing: Vigo et al “Britain Breathing: using the experience sampling method to collect the seasonal allergy symptoms of a country” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
  • Congratulations to Mezida Saeed and Katja Srpan from the Davis group who both passed their PhDs! Congratulation also to Vicky Bridge from the Pennock group who also passed her PhD viva this month.
  • Werner Müller, the scientific coordinator of the SysmedIBD consortium has released short videos on Youtube explaining the main outcome of SysmedIBD and providing some basic information related to Inflammatory bowel disease.

Sheena Cruickshank - Cosmic Superhero

  • Sheena Cruickshank was part of a unique photographic celebration of the superpowers it has taken for women at the forefront of the worlds of Arts and Science to establish themselves as “superheroes” in their individual fields. The exhibition is available online and at Conway Hall in London until the end of January: Cosmic Superheroes.

November 2017

It’s been a packed month and a somewhat sad month as several of our PhD students left us for pastures new after completing their PhDs.

  • Congratulations to Maya Glover from Richard Gencis’s lab,  Freya Svedberg from Andrew Macdonald’s lab, Mezida Saeed and Katja Srpan from Dan Davis’s lab and Mark Fife from Tracy Hussell’s lab who all passed their PhD vivas this month.

Sheena Cruickshank, Andrew Brass and John Mclaughlin, winners of the “Bionow Project of the Year Award”

  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank, Andrew Brass and John Mclaughlin whose research project to identify a biomarker for IBD won the “Bionow Project of the Year Award” 
  •  Dan Davis will present ‘The Beautiful Cure’ at The Royal Institution, London, and tickets are available.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was in London where she participated in a project with Cosmic Shambles – more details to follow next month…
  • In collaboration with others, Dan Davis published this paper about the effects of MRI scans: . Dan Davis has also had a paper accepted on the role of the actin cytoskeleteon in lytic granule release from NK cells. Gil-Krzewska A et al Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Andrew Macdonald published a new collaborative paper with Karen Piper-Hanley on the role of SOX9 in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis EMBO Mol Med.2017 Nov 6. pii: e201707860. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201707860. [Epub ahead of print]
  • James O’ Sullivan, from the Else, Cruickshank and Withers lab published a paper with the Macdonald lab on the pontential for x ray tomography in understanding parasite biology O’Sullivan JDB et al X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT): an emerging opportunity in parasite imaging. Parasitology S0031182017002074
  • A large group of PIs, postdocs and students from MCCIR spent a day at GSK Stevenage on the 20th Nov, brainstorming and discussing ongoing and future projects with several of the research teams there.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was invited to participate in the Manchester City council roundtable discussion on air quality in greater Manchester that was held at the Town Hall. 
  • The German Society for Immunology has established a new prize named after Werner Muller, a pioneer who was involved in the development of the first humanized antibody producing mouse strain, along with countless other transgenic mice used all over the world. He is a founding member of the IMGT database and holds the Bill Ford Chair of Cellular Immunology here in the MIG at the University of Manchester, UK. The society will annually award the Werner Muller Award to one of its members. It is awarded to junior postdocs (within 4 years after the date of the PhD award) for their achievements in the field of immunology that can be of benefit for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases of countries of the developing world. The prize is sponsored by Trianni, Inc.The application deadline is January 31, 2018. More details.

October 2017

A packed month with some exciting new papers from the group.

  • Congratulations to Ilaria Russo who published on Science this month. Nasamu SA, Glushakova S, Russo I, Vaupel B, Oksman A, Kim AS, Fremont DH, Tolia N, Beck JR, Meyers MJ, Niles JC, Zimmerberg J, Goldberg DE – Plasmepsins IX and X are essential and druggable mediators of malaria parasite egress and invasion – Science October 2017
  • Sheena Cruickshank published work on the role of microbiota in wound healing in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology: Williams H, Crompton RC, Thomason HA, Laura Campbell L, Gurdeep Singh G, McBain AJ, Cruickshank SM*, Hardman MJ Cutaneous Nod2 expression regulates the skin microbiome and wound healing in a murine model J Investigative Dermatology137(11), 2427-2436 (2017)
  • Matt Hepworth published a review in Frontiers in Immunology entitled “Group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cells: Communications Hubs of the Intestinal Immune System” and a commentary in Trends In Immunology on the recent regulatory ILC paper in Cell.
  • A special issue of European Journal of Immunology has published extensive “Guidelines for the use of flow cytometry and cell sorting in immunological studies”. The article has a lot on offer, also for starters in the area of flow cytometry as it contains a lot of background information. Werner Muller, one of the many coauthors, strongly suggests multiple reads of the article.
  • Peter Cook was invited to give a talk to the Immunology groups based at ETZ Zurich and  University of Zurich, Switzerland entitled; “Defining the immune checkpoints that underpin fungal allergic airway disease”.
    Several researchers including Judi Allen, Kathryn Else, Ruth Forman and Peter Cook attended and  presented posters or talks at the two day conference in Ghent, Beligum; “Macrophage biology in the single cell era”.
  • The Hepworth lab welcomed two new members; Suzanne Hodge (CASE studentship) and Hugo Penny (Clinical Fellow)
  • Matt Hepworth gave a seminar to the Edinburgh Immunology Group on antigen-presenting ILC3,
  • Sheena Cruickshank discussed parasites and immune function in Crowd Science on BBC World service and was featured in this piece in AAAS.

September 2017

This month sees us welcome a whole new cohort of students to our group, so firstly we would like to welcome all our new starters including Karoliina Tuomela Inés Díaz Del Olmo, Alexandros Karampatzakis, Poppy Simmonds (Davis Group); Jordie Roberts (Cruickshank/Brough/Lopez-Castejon groups), Rachel Crompton, Jamie Farrington (Cruickshank group); Alicia Galdon, Dennis Au and Amanda Ridley (Macdonald group); Stefano Rossi (Travis group), Joshua Dow (Travis/Hepworth group); Hannah Smith (Else, Allen and Sutherland group).

Participating at conferences in September 2017.

  • Sheena Cruickshank gave a seminar in Cardiff University on public engagement and impact and Gurdeep Singh presented at the 5th Molecular Microbiology and 4thM4 Meeting
  • Werner Muller enjoyed participating in the 12th Meeting of the Slovenian Biochemical Society.
  • SysmedIBD had a very productive meeting on Data Management for Systems Medicine in Manchester in September.
  • Mark Travis gave a talk at 8th International Conference on Autoimmunity: Mechanisms and Novel Treatments in Rhodes entitled ‘Regulation of intestinal immune responses by integrins and TGF-beta’.
  • Several of our researchers were at Science Uncovered at Manchester Museum on September 29th including Mark Travis, Sheena Cruickshank, Richard Grencis, Dave Thornton and Katie Walwyn-Brown.
  • Dan’s new book cover has just been designed and is now available to pre-order!

August 2017

A quiet month with many of the group on holiday or writing grants and preparing for our new students in September. Look out for our new season of immunology seminars starting in September, with the first one on Thursday 14th September at 12pm in the Michael Smith Lecture Theatre.

July 2017

The sun was shining in Greater Manchester and several members of the immunology group took the Britain Breathing activity to the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank which saw thousands of people visiting to enjoy science, music (and sunshine).

Bluedot Festival 2017

  • Congratulations are in order as two immunologists were recognised for outstanding contribution to public involvement and engagement in the Faculty’s first ever PPIE awards. Winner – Katie Walwyn-Brown (student category, Davies group); Highly Commended – Jo Pennock (staff category).
  • Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk at Bluedot on her work on parasites and also talked about the challenges of conquering space in a panel discussion with Tim O’Brien, Danielle George, Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Matthew Cobb and David Kirby at the festival. Her talk on parasites was also reviewed.
  • Dan Davies was also at a festival and gave a talk at the Latitude music festival as covered in New Scientist.
  • Mark Travis gave a talk at Medimmune in Maryland and then at the International Mucosal Immunology Congress entitled ‘Regulation of intestinal T cell responses by TGF-beta’.
  • A sad farewell to Aoife Kelly, a post-doc in the Travis lab, who will be leaving to take up a position at Medimmune in Cambridge.
  • Congratulations to Joanne Konkel who has two papers published this month:  D-mannose induces regulatory T cells and suppresses immunopathology and MLL4 prepares the enhancer landscape for Foxp3 induction via chromatin looping.
  • And last, but not least, a huge welcome to Elizabeth Mann who joins us as a new fellow. She also has a Postdoc position available in her group focusing on how immune responses in the intestine and the lungs are shaped by the gut microbiota.

June 2017

  • Congratulations to Mark Travis who was awarded a BBSRC grant (with Dan Davis and Philip Woodman) entitled ‘Determining a novel pathway that controls TGF-beta activation in the immune system’.
  • Image of TrichurisCongratulations to James O’Sullivan, a PhD student in Phil Withers, Kathryn Else and Sheena Cruickshanks’ labs whose image and video of Trichuris was shortlisted for the RMS competition and is displayed in throughout MCC2017.
  • Andrew Macdonald published a collaborative paper: Different populations of CD11b+dendritic cells drive Th2 responses in the small intestine and colon. Mayer JU, Demiri M, Agace WW, MacDonald AS, Svensson-Frej M, Milling SW. Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 9;8:15820. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15820.
  • Sheena Cruickshank and Kathryn Else published a paper describing pre-colitic changes in the mucus microbiota in a model of IBD, “Compositional Changes in the Gut Mucus Microbiota Precede the Onset of Colitis-Induced Inflammation. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017;23:912–922.
  • Andrew Macdonald visited Imperial College (St Mary’s campus) and gave a seminar about the role of Type I IFN in Th2 induction by dendritic cells.
  • Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge for the Wellcome trust/NCCPE public engagement masterclass for Wellcome Trust funded researchers.
  • Mark Travis gave a talk at the Pirbright Institute on 15th June entitled, ‘Regulation of intestinal T cell responses by integrins and TGF-beta’.
  • Sheena Cruickshank in Washington as part of her AAAS Leshner Fellowship.Sheena Cruickshank travelled to Washington where she spent a week with the AAAS and Leshner fellows as part of her AAAS Leshner Fellowship. Read her blog about her reflections of her time in Washington.
  • Dan Davies and Sheena Cruickshank gave research talks to sixth form students visiting the University as part of the Discovery Days in Biological Sciences.
  • Jo Pennock and Roger Harrison (School of Health Sciences) ran an outdoor game for the University Community Festival where players had to work out how to identify and control a deadly antibiotic resistant disease. Outbreak! players followed clues via a smart phone app to take them all over South Campus, dressed in lab coats and armed with bug detectors and mission kits. It was great fun!

May 2017

This was an incredibly sad month for Manchester that saw the city work and stand together in defiance of the terrorist actions.

In other news from the group:

  • Congratulations to John Grainger who was awarded a Kennedy Trust Senior Fellowship
  • Meeting of MindsGloria, Amy, Matt and John were all invited to attend the Meeting of Minds conference for Royal Society funded fellows. It gave fellows from fields as diverse as quantum physics to immunology to get together and try and share their latest scientific discoveries with one another. Gloria was on the organising committee for the event and the day ended with a reception at St. James’ Palace at which Prince Andrew gave a speech about scientists promoting their work to the public and industry.
  • Dan Davis at the Hay Festival, 2017.Dan Davis participated in six events at this year’s Hay Festival, including a Royal Society discussion about the implications of new gene technology, and a discussion about the connections between our immune and nervous systems with neuroscientist Prof. Alasdair Coles .
  • Joanne Konkel gave a talk at the Cardiff University; “Training immune function at the oral barrier”
  • Sheena and Michael MosleySheena Cruickshank briefly appeared on the Michael Mosley documentary Michael Mosley V’s the Superbugs about Michael’s ‘living bacterial clone’.
  • Sheena also spoke about her priorities for the next elected government in Research Fortnight and discussed Vitamin D and UKIP’s proposed Burqa ban in Buzzfeed.
  • Kathryn Else gave a talk entitled “How parasites promote healing” at the Klondyke Club in Levenshulme as part of “Pint of Science.”

Kathryn gave a talk as part of Pint of Science

  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who was nominated for the most inspirational lecture and David Brough who was also nominated in the teaching awards.
  • Freya Svedberg from the Macondald lab attended the Keystone ‘Mononuclear phagocytes in health, immune defence and disease’ meeting in Austin, Texas where she presented a poster on her work entitled ‘The lung environment controls the ability of macrophages to respond to type-2 inflammation’.
  • Andrew was part of a delegation of UK immunologists (including Andrew McMichael, Anne O’Garra, Peter Openshaw, Tim Elliot, Arne Akbar and Enzo Cerundolo) invited to speak at the inaugural British Society of Immunology – Chinese Society of Immunology joint symposium in Immunology in Shanghai

April 2017

This month saw many scientists take to the streets to march for Science. There was a good MCCIR/MIG turnout at the March for Science on Manchester on the 22nd April, including Andrew Macdonald, Judi Allen, Dave Thornton, Peter Cook, Matt Hepworth, Amy Saunders, John Grainger and Gloria Lopez-Castejon.

March for Science

March for Science

In other news from the group:

    • Congratulations to Peter Cook who has been awarded a Springboard grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences.
    • Congratulations to Catherine Sharpe (Thornton/Grencis labs) who was awarded first place by the American Association of Immunologists (the AAI young investigator award) at WHIP for her poster “Defining the mechanisms of mucosal defence against Trichuris muris infection”, the prize will be announced on parasitology immunology’s website.
    • Congratulations to Gurdeep Singh from the Cruickshank, Brass and Knight who won the best poster prize at the Society for Applied Microbiology conference
    • Joanne Konkel had two papers published:
    • Joanne Konkel gave the SBS happy hour seminar here in Manchester last week; “Understanding mechanisms of immune control at the oral barrier”
    • Sheena Cruickshank was in Liverpool at LSTM giving a talk on public engagement and making an impact
    • Sheena Cruickshank was also asked to comment on a recent paper on antibiotic usage and risk of bowel cancer that was picked up by several media outlets including the BBC.
    • Film crews were at the faculty this month where they were filming a short film about the effects of air pollution on health that will be screened as part of the Clear Air Day Campaign on June 15th. The video also highlighted cross faculty interdisciplinary research done as part of Britain Breathing.


March 2017

An absolutely packed month from the Immunology group team!

      • Werner Muller was involved with a very successful Spring School on Systems Medicine in March, organised by the SysmedIBD consortium in Kiel, Germany.
      • texasRichard Grencis, Dave Thornton, Allison Bancroft and Rebecca Shears visited Peter Hotez’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas for collaborative discussions towards the development of vaccine for Trichuris.uganda
      • Richard Grencis spent a week teaching helminth immunology on the “Immunology in the Tropics” course run at the Makerere/UVRI  Infection and Immunity Centre of Excellence in Entebbe, Uganda. The course is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.
      • Pete Cook attended and gave a talk at the 53rd Annual British Society of Medical Mycology (BSMM) scientific meeting in Birmingham this month.
      • Dan Davis gave various talks including at in York at a symposium ‘Biophysics of the immune systsem’, organised by Mark Leake and Mark Coles.
      • Sheena Cruickshank spoke about the Britian Bretahing project as part of the PSS distinguished achievement celebrations.whipworm
      • Kathryn Else, with Ruth Forman, ex-PhD student Emma Murphy and colleagues at the University of Oxford and University College London, reported the discovery of a new class of compounds that kill the adult stage of the whipworm parasite, Trichuris muris. In addition the chemicals reduced the ability of parasite eggs, found in the soil, to develop in to new parasites if swallowed by the host.

Dihydrobenz[e][1,4]oxazepin-2(3H)-ones, a new anthelmintic chemotype immobilising whipworm and reducing infectivity in vivo.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Feb 9;11(2):e0005359. Trichuris was also featured on the PLOS NTDs cover page.

February 2017

Sheena Cruickshank, Andy Brass, Lamiece Hassan, Caroline Jay and Markel Vigo win best public engagement initiative at The Better World Showcase

      • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank, Andy Brass, Lamiece Hassan, Caroline Jay and Markel Vigo for winning best public engagement initiative at The Better World Showcase at the University of Liverpool.
      • Sheena Cruickshank presented findings from Britain Breathing to representatives from the BBC, The University sustainability seminar series and Manchester City Council. She also gave a seminar on her research in gut and skin immunology at the University of Liverpool.
      • Andrew Macdonald, and a number of other MCCIR PIs, were away at GSK Stevenage where they discussed ongoing and future collaborative projects.
      • Eamon Dubaissi (Thornton lab) gave a talk entitled “Xenopus Epidermal Mucin Forms a Barrier to Infection in Tadpoles” at the Gordon Research Symposium on Cilia, Mucus and Mucociliary Interactions, Galveston, Texas, Feb 11, 2017. Eamon also presented a poster at the same meeting.
      • Dave Thornton was a Discussion Leader at the Gordon Research Conference on Cilia, Mucus and Mucociliary Interactions. Galveston in Texas.
      • Basmah Eldakhakhny from the Pennock lab passed her PhD viva with minor corrections. Rebecca Montacute from the Cruickshank and Allan group also passed her PhD viva with minor corrections. Well done Basmah! Well done Becky!
      • Andrew Macdonald is a co-author on paper entitled “Enteric helminth-induced type-I interferon signalling protects against pulmonary virus infection through interaction with the microbiota” in J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Feb 11. pii: S0091-6749(17)30229-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.01.016. [Epub ahead of print]
      • Dave Thornton and Richard Grencis have published a paper entitled: “Immune-driven alterations in mucin sulphation is an important mediator of Trichuris muris helminth expulsion” in PLoS Pathog. 2017 Feb 13;13(2):e1006218. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006218. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28192541
      • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who was awarded a Leshner fellowship in Infection from the AAAS.
      • Dan Davis will be giving a talk this month at Imperial College London on his book and there may be a few tickets left if you want to go: Booking Form

January 2017

Happy New Year from the MIG!

      • Peter Cook attended the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference (GRS/GRC) on Immunology of Fungal Infections in Galveston, Texas, USA, and won the poster prize for his poster “Dendritic cells are required to mediate and sustain type-2 and type-17 allergic inflammation against Aspergillus fumigatus”.
      • Gloria Lopez-Castejon co-authored a review with Carolina Pellegrini in Frontiers in Immunology.
      • Mark Travis gave a talk at the TGF-beta in Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer Keystone conference in Taos, New Mexico entitled “Human Blood Monocyte and Intestinal Macrophage Populations Regulate TGF-beta Activity via Expression of the Integrin Alphav beta8”.
      • Jo Konkel published a paper on the role of chewing in generation of Th17 cells which was published this month in Immunity, with Marc Veldhoen’s preview.The paper also generated some media interest in papers such as the Express and the Mirror.

December 2016

      • This month saw many members of the MIG attend the joint British and Dutch society of Immunology congress in Liverpool. There were numerous talks from the MIG including an invited talk from Dan Davis and talks from members of the Travis and Couper Many MIG members presented posters and congratulations to Helen Williams from the Cruickshank lab who won a prize for her poster on the role of Nod2 in cutaneous wound healing.
      • Dan Davis also gave invited talks at Cambridge University and AstraZeneca.
      • Mezida Saeed, a PhD student from the Davis group presented her work at the American Society for Cell Biology congress.
      • Richard Grencis  gave an invited talk at the British Ecological Society annual meeting in Liverpool.
      • Sheena Cruickshank gave the first Irene Manton lecture on behalf of the Linnean Society Talk on her work in parasite imaging and showcased new 3D images of parasites based on work by James O’Sullivan.
Sheena Cruickshank gave the first Irene Manton lecture on behalf of the Linnean Society Talk

Sheena Cruickshank gave the first Irene Manton lecture on behalf of the Linnean Society Talk

Sheena showcased new 3D images of her work on parasite imaging during the Irene Manton lecture on behalf of the Linnean Society Talk.

Sheena showcased new 3D images of her work on parasite imaging during the Irene Manton lecture on behalf of the Linnean Society Talk.

      • Matt Hepworth gave talks on antigen presenting innate lymphoid cells at the EMBO Innate Lymphoid Cells meeting in Berlin, Germany and at the Karolinska institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
      • Congratulations to Richard Grencis, who together with Professor Alison Elliot based at the MRC UVRI was awarded a five year Royal Society International Collaboration Award for Research Professors to establish a field and experimental research programme between Uganda and Manchester.
      • Congratulations to Jo Pennock and Peter Arkwright who were awarded a Leo Pharma Grant to address the role of bacterial proteases in skin inflammation.
      • Congratulations to Judi Allen and Andrew Macdonald who were awarded a grant by the Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Scheme, to expand the capacity of the Manchester Gnotobiotic Facility.
      • Congratulations to Gloria Lopez Castejon, Sheena Cruickshank and David Brough who were awarded a MRC pump priming grant to develop their work on P2X7R signalling in gut epithelial cells.
      • Congratulations to Abdullah Al Kahtani (supervisors Peter Arkwright, Jo Pennock, Sarah Herrick) who passed his PhD viva. Congratulations also to Tarfa Altorki (supervisors Sheena Cruickshank, Werner Muller and Andy Brass) who also passed her PhD viva.

Research involving the MIG was published this month including:

      • Lyons J et al. Nature Genetics, December 2016. Description of new mast cell disorder involving alpha-mast cell tryptase gene duplication/triplication. Dr P Arkwright, co-author.
      • Felipe in the Hepworth lab published a review in Immunology on “Functional and Phenotypic heterogeneity of group 3 innate lymphoid cells”
      • Paula I. Seoane, Dominik Rückerl, Cecilia Casaravilla, Anabella Barrios, Álvaro Pittini, Andrew S. MacDonald, Judith E. Allenand Álvaro Díaz. Particles from Echinococcus granulosus laminated layer inhibit IL-4 and growth factor-driven Akt phosphorylation and proliferative responses in macrophages.  2016. Scientific Reports. 6:39204.
      • Andrew Macdonald, Jo Pennock and Richard Grencis travelled to the UVRI in Entebbe, Uganda, for a capacity building visit, hosted by Prof Alison Elliot and funded by the BBSRC Global Challenges Research Fund.  While there, they spent a lively day at Makerere University in Kampala giving seminars to and talking science with the students. They also visited several of the villages involved in an ongoing study into helminths and allergy in the Koome islands in Lake Victoria.  Finally, they spent a day giving seminars and discussing ongoing and potential future projects with the PhD and Masters students at UVRI.  Altogether it was a very successful trip that will hopefully lead to further collaboration between The University of Manchester and the UVRI.

November 2016

      • Congratulations to Maria Glymenaki from the Cruickshank, Else and Mcbain labs who successful defended her PhD thesis on the gut microbiota in health and inflammation.
      • Congratulations also to Lucas Huggins from the Else, Cruickshank and Preziozi labs who passed his MPhil on development of a copro-diagnostic tool for parasites of amphibians.

Maria Glymenaki from the Cruickshank, Else and Mcbain labs who successful defended her PhD thesis.

Lucas Huggins from the Else, Cruickshank and Preziozi labs passed his MPhil.

      • John Grainger organised a Toxoplasma UK conference which was held at the University which included a diverse range of talks about Toxoplasma biology and immunology including talks from Sheena Cruickshank and John Grainger.
      • Cecilia Forss from the MacDonald lab presented some of her PhD data on epithelial cell:dendritic cell crosstalk during allergic immune responses at the 3rd International Severe Asthma Forum in Manchester.
      • Several people from the immunology group including Sheena, Jo, John, Joanne, Amy and Matthew attended a day with Unilever focusing on barrier function in the skin and mouth
      • Andrew MacDonald gave a seminar at Imperial College, Hammersmith on dendritic cells and type 2 inflammation
      • Joanne Konkel went to the University of Birmingham to give a talk. “Training immune function at the oral barrier”.
      • Sheena Cruickshank was at the NCCPE Engage conference where she presented on public engagement projects at the University and collected an award on behalf of researchers based at the University.
      • Joanne is organising an exciting Keystone meeting “TGF-ß in Immunity, Inflammation and Cancer” on January 9—13, 2017 Sagebrush Inn & Suites, Taos, New Mexico, USA.

October 2016

      • Welcome to Sheila Macharia who joins the Cruickshank and Else groups as a PhD student studying the function of gut eosinophils.
      • Richard Grencis gave a keynote lecture at the European Mucosal Immunology meeting held recently in Copenhagen. The meeting was also attended by Kathryn Else, Sheena Cruickshank, Mark Travis, Ruth Forman and John Worthington.
      • Werner Muller was one of the organisers of the first International Meeting on Systems Medicine in Berlin. His EU project presented recent updates in a Satellite symposium that was very well attended.
      • Andrew MacDonald and Alex Phythian-Adams attended the 14th International Symposium on Dendritic Cells in Shanghai where they presented the lab’s work on CCL17 requirements for Th2 induction against helminths and allergens, and dendritic cell subset requirements in induction and regulation of immune responses to Schistosoma mansoni.
      • Congratulations to Andrew MacDonald who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and to Sheena Cruickshank who was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
      • Congratulations to Drs Arkwright, Pennock and O’Neill who were awarded a grant by the Leo Foundation to study the role of PAR2 in Staphylococcus aureus infection during atopic dermatitis. The project will be in collaboration with Professor Matsuda at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan.
      • Congratulations to Abdullah Alkatahni from the Pennock lab who was awarded his PhD with minor corrections.
      • Werner was involved in a publication in the Journal “Gut” which was in part based on work from the EU project and nicely demonstrates Systems Medicine. Häsler R et al.
      • The Travis group have had a paper published in Mucosal Immunology that identifies new pathways by which human dendritic cells regulate T cell responses via the cytokine TGF-beta, and how this is altered in inflammatory bowel disease.
      • Sheena Cruickshank, David Brough, Jo Pennock, Kathryn Else, Werner Muller and Gloria Lopez Castejon have had a paper published on the role of P2X7R in epithelial sensing of infection.
      • We celebrated Manchester Science Festival and Jo and Kathryn and helpers were at Quarry Bank Mill where they organised an infection hunt game and posed the question as to whether the workers at the mill might have had worms. Sheena gave a talk as part of the NERC Into the blue event where she presented the work on #BritainBreathing from under the wings of Concorde. Sheena also spoke at an event on the Science of Star Wars which preceded a concert of Star Wars music played by the Halle Orchestra and featured many other special guests…

Darth VaderHalle Orchestra and Storm Troopers

      • Sheena was at the BSI 60 year celebration event held at the Royal Society and featured talks from Sir Professor Robert Lechler, Professor Fiona Powrie, Professor Peter Openshaw and Professor Adam Hart.

September 2016

      • Congratulations to Abdullah Alkahtani from the Pennock lab who passed his PhD viva with minor corrections.
      • Welcome to Emma Houlder, a new PhD student in the Macdonald lab who will be working on schistosome and allergen induced lung inflammation.
      • Welcome to James O’ Sullivan a new PhD student in the Else,  Cruickshank and Phil Withers labs who will be working on imaging parasite infection.
      • macdonald-amsterdam2016Andrew Macdonald gave a talk at the European Macrophage and DC Society meeting in Amsterdam on the role of Type I IFN in Th2 induction by DCs, while Cecilia Forss from the lab also attended and gave a poster about her work on activation of DCs by Aspergillus fumigatus.
      • Sheena Cruickshank gave talks about her research at the conference about “Reproducibility in animal research: the 4th “R”” in Basel, Switzerland. She also talked about her work at “Microbe 2016” in Sheffield.
      • Dan Davis gave talks at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot (Imaging The Immune System II), The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the NK cell congress in Sicily.
      • A new paper from the Pennock and Else groups discussed the mechanism of Infliximab:Assas BM, Levison S, Little M, England H, Battrick L, Bagnall J, McLaughlin J, Paszek P, Else KJ, Pennock JL. Anti-inflammatory effects of infliximab in mice are independent of TNFα neutralization. Clin Exp Immunol. 2016 Sep 26. doi: 10.1111/cei.12872.
      • Sheena Cruickshank commented on the Zuckerberg pledge to eradicate all disease and was interviewed for The Moncrieff Show on this topic.
      • Katie Walwyn-Brown in the Davis lab has been short-listed for the MRC Max Perutz science writing prize.
      • Dan was at the Manchester Literature Festival and discussed ‘Homo Deus’ with Yuval Noah Harari.
      • Sheena was talking at New Scientist Live about Britain Breathing, the citizen science allergy project, was also interviewed on Radio 5 Live  and by the Microbiology Society.
      • A new exhibition, in collaboration with the Cruickshank, Else and Pennock groups and staff from FBMH, about alien plants and infections opens at Quarry Bank Mill this month entitled “Exotic Guests and Alien Invaders”. We were there to celebrate the launch of the exhibition and showcase some of our parasites. More exciting events will happen later this month so do pop along and watch this space for more details…

Exotic Guests and Alien InvadersExotic Guests and Alien Invaders

August 2016

        • Welcome to Jesuthas Ajendra, a new postdoc who has started in Judi Allen’s lab
        • Welcome also to Victoria Pelly who has joined Santiago Zelaney’s group at CRUK

Some exciting papers came out from the Allen group and are available on line:

And we are also excited that this paper is the very  first image stream publication from the single cell facility

        • Jackson-Jones L.H., Ruckerl D., Duncan, S., Svedberg, F., Jenkins, S.J., Sutherland, T.E., McSorley, H.J., Maizels R.M., MacDonald, A.S., Benezech C. and Allen, J.E. (2016) IL-33 delivery induces serous cavity macrophage proliferation independent of interleukin-4 receptor alpha. European Journal of Immunology.  DOI: 10.1002/eji.201646442
        • Sheena Cruickshank commented on the findings that there have been increased hospitalisations for allergy related complications.
        • Sheena and Chris Knight also commented on a new paper about parasite evolution in this piece by Ed Yong in National Geographic.

Next month sees the launch of an exciting new temporary exhibition about Alien Invaders at Quarry Bank Mill in a new collaboration between the National Trust, Sheena Cruickshank, Joanne Pennock and Kathryn Else featuring some of our favourite parasites….. Do come and see it!

July 2016

This was a really busy month with many of our researchers including Dan Davies, Joanne Pennock, James Fildes and Kathryn Else all taking part in ESOF or ESOF related activities as part of Science in the city.

          • Congratulations to Tracy Hussell who got a Wellcome Senior Fellowship!
          • Welcome back to Felipe Melo Gonzalez who joined the Hepworth lab as a postdoc and will be working on innate lymphoid cells at mucosal barrier sites
          • Welcome to Christine Chew will be joining the MCCIR as a clinical PhD on an ARUK fellowship.
          • Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk at the ESOF conference.
          • Werner Muller, the current Bill Ford Chair of Cellular Immunology, joined for a brief moment a surprise Symposium organised for Jonathan Howard in Cologne. Jonathan Howard, like Simon Hunt, Oxford, a guest speaker of the event, were both PhD students in the lab of Sir James Gowans in Oxford at a time when Bill Ford was a PhD student there as well. Werner Muller took the opportunity to learn more about Bill Ford’s early scientific work.
          • Sheena Cruickshank and the Britain Breathing team were at the Bluedot festival and did a joint event with the Human Sensor Project. Their allergy project was featured in the Daily Mail  and Sheena also discussed the project with Robin Ince (seen here visiting the Britain Breathing stand) in a Bookshambles podcast.


June 2016

          • Congratulations to Kathryn Else, Werner Muller and Jo Pennock who have been awarded a grant from the MRC to study how macrophages are educated in vivo.
          • Congratulation to Kim Mace who is also a Co-I on a new grant from the BBSRC, “Homeodomain transcription factors in vertebrates: working together to make a difference” £997,977 (2016-2019) investigating Hox protein specificity and function in development and in myeloid cells.
          • Sheena Cruickshank, Ruth Forman and Kathryn Else have published a paper considering novel regulatory roles for the enigmatic gut eosinophil: Eosinophils may play regionally disparate roles in influencing IgA+ plasma cell numbers during large and small intestinal inflammation. BMC Immunology 2016 May 31;17(1)
          • Kim Mace has published a paper in the future edition of The Journal of Immunology “Enforced Expression of Hoxa3 Inhibits Classical and Promotes Alternative Activation of Macrophages In Vitro and In Vivo” published ahead of print June 24, 2016
          • Dan Davis was busy at the Hay Festival and also and the Cheltenham Science Festival
          • Sheena Cruickshank was also at the Cheltenham Science Festival and spoke at the Parasite Appreciation Society event. Jo Pennock took her Outbreak game to the festival and had around 100 participants engaged in the science behind infection.
          • Dan has made a video for A-level students:
          • Dan also gave talks at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities.

May 2016

Hello sunshine! It has been an action packed month with some exciting new additions to the MIG

                  • A massive welcome to Judi Allen and her group who joined us this month. More details will appear about their exciting research soon!
                  • mig1
                  • Also welcome to Tamsin Murray who joins the Konkel lab as a postdoctoral fellow
                  • Joanne Konkel was in York University where she gave a seminar entitled  “Immune control at the oral Barrier”.
                  • Mark Travis gave talks at the American mig2Association of Immunology, Seattle, entitled “The integrin αvβ8 promotes activation of TGFβ by human peripheral monocyte and intestinal macrophage populations” and the Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, entitled “Regulation of intestinal immune responses by integrins and TGF-beta”.
                  • Dan Davis has a new paper out entitled “The Size of Activating and Inhibitory Killer Ig-like Receptor Nanoclusters Is Controlled by the Transmembrane Smig3equence and Affects Signaling”
                  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who won postgraduate supervisor of the year at the Manchester student union teaching awards
                  • The Annual Social Responsibility Awards and Volunteer of the Year Awards were celebrated this month and Vicky Kinsley from the Pennock group was highly commended for her volunteering work. The students involved in the Madagascar Schistosome Expedition and the ESOL teacher involved in the infection ESOL project won Social Responsibility Awards for their amazing work. You can see more about the awards here
                  • Dan was interviewed on this Genetics podcast from the Naked Scientists 
                  • Dan did several events at the Hay Festival including a discussion about biology A levels 
                  • Becky Montacute from the Cruickshank and Stuart Allen labs did an MRC funded placement in the House of Parliament and contributed to several briefing including this one here.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was at the BBSRC Innovator of the Year even where she presented about the public engagement and research she does. The icon they made to summarise the work will be on display soon.
                  • Mark Travis did some public engagement with Year 4 pupils at Oasis Academy Aspinal, Gorton, teaching students about being a research scientist, the immune system and worms.
                  • Please come to the SysmedIBD spring school:

April 2016

                  • Welcome to Kelly Wemyss, a CDT Regenerative Medicine PhD student in the labs of John Grainger and Kathryn Else (with Kim Mace and Nicola Tirelli). Kelly will be using macrophages, educated by parasite-derived molecules towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype, to promote wound healing. mig1
                  • Congratulations to Maya Glover from the Grencis lab for winning Best Poster prize at the 20th Woods Hole Immunoparasitology meeting recently held at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole USA.”
                  • Congratulations to Ania Oszmiana and Charlotte Barthen from the Davis lab who passed their PhD vivas.
                  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who is a finalist in the BBSRC Innovator of the Year competition
                  • Andrew Macdonald and James Crooks visited Immodulon Therapeutics in London to discuss ongoing collaborations into understanding innate immune cell activation by environmental bacteria, and their potential for cancer treatment
                  • Sheena Cruickshank spoke on “Inside Science” on Radio 4 about their new allergy project Britain Breathing

Several papers from the group were published:

March 2016

Spring approaches finally! This month sees the launch of an exciting new citizen science project #BritainBreathing, some sad farewells and some exciting papers.

                  • Matt Hepworth was a co-author on an exciting paper in Immunity titled Lymphoid-Tissue-Resident Commensal Bacteria Promote Members of the IL-10 Cytokine Family to Establish Mutualism
                  • Mark Travis gave a seminar at the Karolinska institute, Stockholm, entitled ‘Regulation of intestinal immune responses by integrins and TGF-beta’.
                  • We were very sad to say goodbye to Michael Bramhall from the Cruickshank lab who leaves us to take up a postdoctoral position in Colby Zaph’s lab in Australia.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank, Lamiece Hassan, Andy Brass, Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay, the BSI and Royal Society of Biology launched their citizen science project #Britain Breathing. This project aims to use citizens as sensors to capture geolocation data via their phone on allergy incidence across the UK and then to try and work out what is causing the increase in allergies. More details can be found at and the app is free to download on google play so do get involved!


The app was discussed in various newspapers an online sites including “The Independent”

Sheena Cruickshank also discussed the app on Radio 5 live (from 1hr 44)  –

February 2016

                  • Huge congratulations to Peter Cook from the Macdonald lab, who was awarded a Dean’s Prize Fellowship to define key checkpoints in dendritic cell control of anti-fungal immunity and inflammation.  Well done Pete!
                  • Congratulations also to Gareth-Rhys Jones from the Macdonald lab, who passed his PhD viva with only minor corrections for his thesis titled ‘The role of methyl-CpG-binding domain protein-2 (MBD2) in colonic inflammation’.
                  • Welcome to Arwa Al Kindi and President’s Doctoral Scholar Adefunke Ogunkanbi who both started PhDs in January in the Pennock
                  • Exciting paper from the Macdonald lab entitled: IL-4-producing ILC2s are required for the differentiation of Th2 cells following Heligmosomoides polygyrus 2016. Mucosal Immunology (In press).
                  • Another exciting paper from the Brough lab: Inflammasome-dependent IL-1β release depends upon membrane permeabilisation. Cell Death and Differentiation, (in press)
                  • Andrew Macdonald visited GSK Stevenage on Feb 10th to give a seminar and discuss Type 2 inflammation with the Allergic Inflammation DPU.  He also spent some time at the Malaghan Institute in Wellington, New Zealand, where he was invited by Graham Le Gros and Franca Ronchese to give a seminar and discuss dendritic cells and Th2 responses.  Even with the 30h+ journey time each way, this was a fantastic and rewarding visit to a beautiful country.
                  • Richard Grencis gave a Research Seminar at the University of Pennsylvania and also spoke at the Wellcome Advanced Course on “Immunophenotyping: generation and analysis of immunological datasets” held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was a judge at the Famelab Manchester heats where there was a strong presence from the University of Manchester including Katie from the Davis
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was part of group of scientists who made a discussion show called “Big Question Time” where they discussed aliens and robots amongst other topics. Clips from the day can be seen here

January 2016

Happy New Year! The rain kept on pouring but we keep on working. Some highlights this month are:

                  • Congratulations to Felipe Melo-Gonzalez from the Travis and Thornton groups who passed his PhD viva. His thesis was entitled “Investigating the role of the intestinal barrier in regulation of immune homeostasis in the gut”.
                  • Ilaria Russo has just published a paper in European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry entitled “Non-symmetrical furan-amidines as novel leads for the treatment of cancer and malaria”
                  • Joanne Konkel has published a paper in Mucosal Immunology entitled ”Characterization of the human immune cell network at the gingival barrier.”

December 2015

The wettest December in history did not deter us from being as busy as ever…

                  • Congratulations to Tracy Hussell who was successful in obtaining the MRC discovery Award 2015: Capacity building in single cell inflammation discovery: developing the next generation of scientists. Tracy Hussell features in video for Athena Swan on academics adopting children.
                  • Congratulations to Dan Davis who was awarded an Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust of ‘The nanoscale organisation of immune cell surfaces in health and disease’.
                  • Congratulations also to Amy Saunders who was also awarded a Wellcome Trust fellowship.
                  • Congratulations to Michael Bramhall from the Cruickshank group who successful defended his PhD thesis. We also had several recent PhD graduates at the graduation ceremony looking splendid in their graduation finery.
                  • Dan Davis presented his research at the American Society of Cell Biology meeting in San Diego.
                  • Andrew Macdonald visited Leiden University gave a seminar on dendritic cells and Type 2 immunity in Leiden and spent a very productive day with James Crooks talking to Immodulon Therapeutics in London.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Conference in Bristol where she presented on the #Britain Breathing project. She was also interviewed for the European City of Science about her work
                  • Werner Muller had a paper accepted in the European Journal of Immunology describing a new mouse model with a genetic modification of the Interleukin-1 receptor 1 gene, suitable for cell type specific gene ablation. This mouse mutant will be used to better understand the role of Interleukin-1 in acute and chronic inflammation (
                  • Andrea Kemter, a PhD student from Rick Maizel’s lab in Edinburgh, spent some time in the Macdonald lab assessing the impact of excretory/secretory products from the nematode Heligmosomoides polygyruson human and murine dendritic cell activation.
                  • Ilario Russo has published a paper on inhibition of an essential enzyme in malaria  entitled “Picomolar Inhibition of Plasmepsin V, an Essential Malaria Protease, Achieved Exploiting the Prime Region” in PLoS ONE:e0142509.
                  • Two papers were published from the Macdonald “A central role for hepatic conventional dendritic cells in supporting Th2 responses during helminth infection.” Immunology and Cell Biology and  “Integrin α4β1 controls G9a activity that regulates epigenetic changes and nuclear properties required for lymphocyte migration.” Nucleic Acids Research PMID: 26657637
                  • We were sad to say goodbye to Lauren Webb who left the Macdonald lab to take up a postdoc position at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  Lauren carried out her PhD and a postdoc in the group, and will be missed. Good luck Lauren!
                  • Finally, we welcome Matt Hepworth, a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellow who joins us in January

November 2015

                  • A massive congratulations to Kathryn Lagrue (Davis lab), Ryan Costello (Muller lab) and Emma Murphy (Else lab) who all successfully defended their PhD theses at vivanovember
                  • Congratulations to members of the Manchester Immunology group in MCCIR who grew these fine specimens for Movember. They raised over £550 of about £1000 total raised in partnership with AstraZeneka colleagues. Not bad for a month of humiliation!  And still possible for last minute sponsors on: co/mccir-tash
                  • Dan Davis gave research talks at University College London and the University of Munich, and talks for the public at Café Scientifique and a local primary school.
                  • Mark Travis gave a seminar at Lund University in Sweden, entitled “Regulation of intestinal T-cell responses by integrins and TGF-beta”.
                  • Richard Grencis was an invited speaker at the symposium “Parasitology in the 21st Century” held recently at the Institut Pasteur, Paris.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was an invited speaker at the Citizen Social Science session in Manchester Policy week.
                  • Lots of papers were published too including three from the Macdonald lab and one from the Cruickshank
                  • Mohammedsaeed W, Cruickshank S, Mcbain AJ, O’Neill CA. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lysate increases reepithelialisation of keratinocyte scratch assays by promoting migration. Scientific Reports 5:16147 | DOi: 10.1038/srep16147
                  • Lucy H. Jones, Peter C. Cook, Al C. Ivens, Graham D. Thomas, Alexander T. Phythian-Adams, Judith E. Allen and Andrew S. MacDonald.  Modulation of dendritic cell alternative activation and function by the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid. 2015. International Immunology. 11: 589-596.
                  • Stephen A. Redpath, Nienke van der Werf, Andrew S. MacDonald,Rick M. Maizels and Matthew D. Taylor. Schistosoma mansoni larvae do not expand or activate Foxp3+ regulatory T cells during their migratory phase. 2015. Infection and Immunity. 10: 3881-3889.
                  • Dario Besusso, Louise Saul, Melanie D. Leech, Richard A. O’Connor, Andrew S. MacDonald, Stephen M. Anderton and Richard J. Mellanby. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 conditioned CD11c+ dendritic cells are effective initiators of CNS autoimmune disease. 2015. Frontiers in Immunology. 575.

October 2015

                  • Congratulations to Amy Saunders who got her Sir Henry Dale wellcome fellowship.
                  • Congratulations to Kathryn Lagrue in the Davis group who passed her PhD.
                  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who was awarded a BBSRC Impact Accelerator Award to support Michael Bramhall in their IBD biomarker project.sheenrblog1
                  • Dan Davis gave research talks at University College London and the University of Munich.
                  • Andrew Macdonald visited the University of Wurzburg and gave a talk about Type 2 inflammation and dendritic cells
                  • Andrew and lots of the MIG are joining the Movember fun. As a reminder, all you have to do is have a shave on November 1st(this Sunday!) and take a selfie. Then, sign up to MCCIR ‘tash (, or create your own team and network to us (as we have set up with AZ). Then concentrate on growing the most ornamental facial hair your follicles can muster! Take regular selfies if you wish and update the profile.

Let’s try and make an impact on Men’s Health while having a bit of a laugh, and bringing academia and industry a little closer together whilst doing so…..sheenrblog2

                  • It was a busy month for us with the Manchester Science Festival. Dan Davis gave talks at Café Scientifique and a local primary school. Jo Pennock organised an event called Outbreak. Sheena Cruickshank did two joint events with the British Society for Immunology and Royal Society for Biology as part of the #BritainBreathing project to get feedback on the first version of our free app. The app will be used to monitor seasonal allergies and will be available to download in early spring next year (for more details see As ever thanks to our amazing helpers- Michael, Kathryn, Lacey, Maria and Ruth to name but a few.

PhD Opportunities

David Brough: Understanding the contribution of inflammation to liver cancer

Sheena Cruickshank, Andy Brass, Gordon McFiggans, David Schultz, David Topping: Air Quality and Health: exploring the linkages and developing a predictive capability

Sheena Cruickshank, Kathyrn Else, Ingo Schiessel: Eosinophils: critical players in obesity, inflammation and stroke

Sheena Cruickshank, Gloria Lopez Castejon, David Brough: Dysregulation of gut homeostasis by damage associated signals

Richard Grencis, Ian Roberts, Dave Thornton: Innate defences at mucosal surfaces: the Xenopus tropicalis model. 

Joanne Konkel, Sheena Cruickshank, Andrew Mcbain, Chris Knight: Do altered host-microbial interactions promote oral inflammation during ageing?

Gloria Lopez Castejon, Andrew Macdonald: Dissecting new roles for deubiquitinases in inflammatory pathways

Andrew Macdonald; Tracey Hussell: Definition of the role of dendritic cells in coordination of pulmonary Type 2 inflammation

Mark Travis, D Thornton: Determining how mucins regulate immune responses in the intestine

September 2015

This was a busy month with lots of travel as we took our immunology all over the world

blog1Alex Phythian-Adams and Andrew Macdonald went to the fantastic ‘Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths conference on Hydra in Greece. Alex gave a talk on ‘Defining the importance of dendritic cell subsets in promotion and regulation of immunity to Schistosoma mansoni’, while I spoke on ‘A dominant role for the methyl-CpG-binding protein Mbd2 in controlling dendritic cell induction of Type 2 inflammation’.

Andrew Macdonald was an invited speaker at the Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine 2015 Summit, in Porto, Portugal where he spoke about dendritic cells in Type 2 inflammation.

Emily White and Richard Grencis attended and presented their work at the “Cell-CHIN-Symposia: Human Immunity and the Microbiome in Health and Disease” Conference held in Montreal.blog2

In September the MCCIR had a very constructive visit from AZ, including Mene Pangelos (Executive Vice President of Innovative Medicines and Early Development) and Maarten Kraan (Senior Vice President and Head of the Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity iMed).

Congratulations to Szu Wei Huang from the Cruickshank lab who passed his PhD viva.

Kathryn Else’s lab welcomes Ayat Zawawi whose PhD focuses on developing a Whipworm vaccine composed of Virus like particles expressing Trichuris T cell epitopes. Kathryn and Sheena Cruickshank also welcome Lucas Huggins whose MPhil aims to develop a molecular tool for the detection of parasites of tropical frogs, working with Richard blog3Preziosi. Sheena also welcomes Mona Alhubail whose PhD will focus on further collaborating the interaction of keratinocytes with probiotic bacteria , working with Catherine O’Neil and Andrew Mcbain. Details of other new starters to follow!

Mark Travis, Aoife Kelly, Sheena Cruickshank, Rebecca Montacute, Besmah Eldakhakny, Tarfa Altorki and Werner Muller all attended and presented work at the European Congress of Immunology in Vienna.

Tickets for Manchester Science Festival went live in September and are selling out fast. Jo Pennock is part of a Wellcome Trust funded team running Outbreak! , a fast moving street game for adults based around a viral outbreak in city centre Manchester. The event is already sold out, but you can still go on the reserve list here. Sheena Cruickshank is part of a BSI/RSB and UoM collaboration to track allergies in the UK called #Britain Breathing and there are two events to showcase the app and feedback into its creation. The first event is at the museum of Science and Industry on the 24th October and is a family focused event -Allergy  Busters will there will be fun activities to explain about allergies and what they do. A second more adult focused event is held at Nexus Art Cafe and Sheena Cruickshank will be giving a talk about why we have more allergies and the #Britain Breathing project  and again we will be inviting people to take part in the development of this exciting project.

August 2015

                  • A postdoctoral position in is available in the laboratory of Joanne Konkel. The postdoctoral fellow will investigate mechanisms of immune surveillance at the oral barrier, specifically focusing on the development of T cell populations and how these are affected by ageing. For more details, and information on how to apply, please visit: the job listing.
                  • Freya, Cecilia and Andrew Macdonald were in Gothenburg at Astrazeneca Molndal brainstorming and having update meetings with the teams there.IMG_1472
                  • Andrew also spent some time in London with James Crooks, meeting with a company called Immodulon to update with progress on their work with them on the activation of innate immune cells by therapeutic bacteria.
                  • Farewell to Paule Akramaite who has just finished an undergrad summer placement in the Worthington
                  • Sheena Cruickshank has been doing a survey of what people in the University think of public engagement. See the results of the survey: here
                  • Werner Muller is organising a Satelite Symposium in Vienna in the beginning of September (Programme).

July 2015

                  • Andrew Macdonald  gave a talk about the MCCIR, and dendritic cells and Type 2 inflammation, at the A* Institute in Singapore.
                  • Mark Travis gave a talk in the President’s plenary symposium at the International Congress of Mucosal Immunology in Berlin and Maria Glymenaki from the Cruickshank and Else lab’s also gave a talk there. Tom and Felipe from the Travis lab also gave posters at the meeting.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank, Richard Grencis and Silvia Bulfone-Paus all gave talks at the Mexico: UK Tiles of Knowledge event.
                  • John Worthington  and Mark Travis had an editorial, on their recent Immunity paper, published in Oncotarget; Effector Tregs: middle-men in TGF-beta activation. 
                  • Sheena Cruickshank gave an interview for Cosmic Genome. 

June 2015

The sun arrived in Manchester but it’s still all work for the Immunology Group!

The Gut's Minibrain
                  • Kathryn Else was in Glasgow at the start of June, in her role as External Examiner for the University of Strathclyde’s Undergraduate and integrated Masters degree programmes in Immunology.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was at the British Science Association conference and also visited the University of Bristol, UWE and the NCCPE.

May 2015

Another action-packed month!

Social Responsibility AwardsSocial Responsibility Awards

                  • Jo Pennock took Ascaris and Trichuris to Southbank in London for Soapbox Science, to kickstart a national event promoting women in science.

Dr Jo Pennock, SoapBox Science eventDr Jo Pennock, SoapBox Science event

                  • Kathryn Else was guest speaker at Trinity C of E High School presentation evening, which celebrated the success of pupils in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. She spoke to an audience of year 7 to year 10 students and their parents about Whipworm research and the importance of interdisciplinary teams working together.
                  • Kathryn, with Jo Pennock, also took part in the University organised “Dragon fly days” speed networking activity, chatting to groups of visiting year 10 girls about education and career choices, with the hope of inspiring more young females to consider a future in Science.
                  • Mark Travis gave a talk at the American Association of Immunology Congress in New Orleans entitled “Integrin αvβ8-mediated TGFβ activation by effector regulatory T-cells is essential for suppression of T-cell-mediated inflammation” and at Newcastle University to the Fibrosis group, 15th May, entitled “Identifying new pathways that regulate T-cell-mediated inflammation in the intestine”

April 2015

                  • Andrew Macdonald’s paper about epigenetic control of dendritic cell function was published (Cook et al., Nature Communications 24;6:6920).
                  • Lauren Webb from the Macdonald group presented her work about Type I IFN and dendritic cell function at the Woods Hole Immunoparasitology Meeting.
                  • Several group members featured in the “Tuesday features” for FLS including Roberta Oliveira and Dan Davis.
                  • Dan Davis also did an interview for the Society of Biology.
                  • Mark Exley gave a talk at Rheumatology 2015.

Three dimensional schistosome

                  • Sheena Cruickshank was in London where she gave the KeyNote talk at the Science4U 12th Annual Schools Science Conference and she debuted the amazing three dimensional schistosome video. (Snapshot Image courtesy of S Cruickshank,T Starborg, J Bhenson, P Withers).
                  • Sheena was also a panellist at the annual QED skeptic society conference. She also gave an interview for The Cosmic Genome which will be aired next month.
                  • Emma Murphy, Rinal Sahputra, Becca Shears and Kathryn Else attended the British Society for Parasitology annual congress 2015, held in Liverpool where Emma (Else group) gave a talk and Becca (Thornton group) presented a poster.
                  • Congratulations to Walaa from the Cruickshank group who successfully defended her PhD thesis on the interaction of probiotics with skin cells.

March 2015

Spring is nearly here (the weather seems to disagree) and the Manchester Immunology Group is busy as can be:

                  • Congratulations to Werner Muller who has been awarded an Alliance Grant.
                  • Richard Grencis gave an invited talk and chaired a scientific session at the recent Keystone Symposia on “Co-infection: A Global Challenge for Disease Control” in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Richard also gave a John Squire seminar in the MRC Centre for Immune Regulation at the University of Birmingham.
                  • John Worthington presented a talk at the one day BSI Hot topic event “Metabolic Drivers of Immunity” at Aston University, entitled “Enteroendocrine cells-key orchestrators of intestinal immunity.”
                  • Mark Exley was an invited speaker at the iTOC-2 meeting in Munich:’Immunotherapy of Cancer Conference’ meeting.
                  • Rebecca Montacute from the Cruickshank group and several members of the neuroscience Sheena on BBC Breakfastgroup are running the Great Manchester Run in May. They are raising money for the Natalie Kate Moss Trust – a charity who help students with brain injuries through university and fund research into treatment/prevention of brain haemorrhages. To contribute use their Just Giving Page.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank was on BBC Breakfast discussing ebola and also gave a talk as part of National Science Week and another for International Women’s Day
                  • Dan Davis presented his research at the Dutch Society of Immunology meeting, March 27-28th.
                  • Congratulations to Adam Cartwright who finished his PhD and left Dan’s lab to take up a postdoc position in Harvard University.
                  • Mark Travis gave a Merseyside Immunology Group Seminar entitled “Keeping immunity in check: the role of integrins and TGF-beta in regulation of intestinal T-cell responses”
                  • Members from the Travis and Macdonald groups (lead by Aoife Kelly and Ellie Shuttleworth and helped by Andrew, Mark and Pete Cook) ran the gut stand at the Body Experience on Saturday 21st March at Manchester Museum. The public learned about how the immune system keeps us healthy and fights worm infections, and how bad bacteria can cause inflammatory bowel disease.
                  • Dan Davis and Roberta Oliviera are featured in the Faculty of Life Sciences’ #TuesdayFeature.
                  • Congratulations to David Brough and Sheena Cruickshank who published a paper on the role of the inflammasome in stroke in PNAS. David Brough also talked about this exciting research on Key103.

February 2015

                  • John Grainger and Andrew Macdonald visited Medimmune in Cambridge at the end of February, where Andrew talked about dendritic cells and type 2 inflammation, and John talked about systemic education of monocytes during gut infection.
                  • Dan Davis presented a talk in London for Manchester Alumini.
                  • Dan also commented about smell and attraction in this news story.
                  • Sheena Cruickshank wrote a spotlight article about Toxoplasma gondii for Biological Sciences Review Feb 2015 27(3); 7-11.
                  • Sheena also gave a talk at Manchester University for the “Give what you Can” charity about the impact of worm infection on global poverty.
                  • Dan Davis will be talking at The Bollington SciBar on March 9th – all welcome.

January 2015

Happy New Year!

Paul Nurse at the Davis Lab

            • Welcome to Rinal Sahputra who has joined the Else lab as a PhD student, working on vaccines against Trichuris
            • Sir Paul Nurse visited the Davis lab.
            • Mark Exley invited seminar at the Inst. for Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC) in Portugal
            • Dan Davis commented in this feature article in New Scientist, discussing the possible correlation between health and personality
            • Sheena Cruickshank was on the radio discusisng the impact of ebola infection.
            • Congratulations to Sheena who has been appointed academic lead for public engagement with research for the University.

News – #britainbreathing


#Britainbreathing is an exciting new citizen science project that aims to engage a wide range of the UK population to act as ‘citizen sensors’ to help scientists understand more about seasonal allergies such as hayfever or asthma. This is a joint project between the British Society for Immunology, Society of Biology and The University of Manchester.

What is the aim of the project?

Approximately one in four people suffer from seasonal allergies such as hayfever and asthma and this incidence is increasing. Different pollens (such as grass or tree pollens) are active at different times of the year and environmental triggers such as pollution or the weather may also impact on symptoms. The aim of this project is to better understand (both on a national scale and for the individual) when allergy symptoms are occurring and what the triggers for these might be.

Read more about the #Britainbreathing project.