News archive


December 2014

Parasite selfies

This month saw many of us disappear to the annual BSI congress with many posters from our groups. Not only were we there en masse but our parasites selfie stand featured in congress!

  • Congratulations to John Worthington who was awarded first prize in the 2014 Post-Doctoral "Bright Sparks in Immunology" session at the British Society for Immunology Annual Congress. John received the award for presenting work he carried out while in the Travis lab, on the importance of TGFβ activation by regulatory T-cells during suppression of inflammation. As overall winner John was given the opportunity to deliver his presentation in one of the congress's plenary sessions." Pete Cook from the Macdonald group won 3rd prize in the bight sparks session with his talk.
  • Mark Exley gave an invited talk at the BSI entitled “Understanding & exploiting the NKT:CD1d system in disease.”
  • Sheena Cruickshank has joined the Board of Trustees for the BSI.
  • Pete Cook and Lauren Webb from the Macdonald Group also presented their work at ‘The multifaceted roles of Type 2 Immunity’ Cell Symposium in Bruges on the 10th-12th Dec.
  • Joanne Konkel has published a paper in Elife. 2014 Dec 29; 3. doi: 10.7554/eLife.03416. [Epub ahead of print] Epigenetic modification of the PD-1 (Pdcd1) promoter in effector CD4+ T cells tolerized by peptide immunotherapy by McPherson RC1, Konkel JE1, Prendergast CT1, Thomson JP2, Ottaviano R2, Leech MD1, Kay O1, Zandee SE1, Sweenie CH1, Wraith DC3, Meehan RR2, Drake AJ4, Anderton SM1.
  • Sheena Cruickshankspoke on BBC News about the ebola crisis and treatment strategies.

November 2014

  • Ruth Forman and Maria Glymenaki from the Cruickshank and Else groups have published a review highlighting the differences between small and large intestine immunology and biology
  • Dan Davis’s group have published a new research paper “The immune synapse clears and excludes molecules above a size threshold.”
  • Lauren Webb from the Macdonald group was an invited speaker at the ASTMH in New where she spoke about Type I IFN and Th2 induction by dendritic cells.
  • Andrew Macdonald gave a seminar to the Edinburgh Immunology Group about dendritic cells and Type 2 inflammation.
  • Dan Davis recorded a brief 4 minute video for A-level students, about genes, immunity and human diversity and his lab's research is discussed in this article.
  • Sheena at the festival
  • Dan’s lab went on a stimulating retreat in York, see photos.
  • Welcome to Katie Walwyn-Brown and Danny Friedman who join the Davis lab as PhD students
  • Dan presented The Compatibility Gene at The Old Dancer pub in Wilmslow!
  • Jigsaw making
  • Sheena Cruickshank and Kathryn Else lead an amazing team of volunteers from the MIG and FLS including Emma Murphy, Lydia Castelli, Mushref Assas, Vicky Kinsley, Lydia Castelli, John Lees, Maria Glymenaki, Ruth Stoney, Katherine Roberts and Michael Bramhall were in Bethnal Green, East London from the 14th to the 16th November. The Worm Wagon were part of just 20 selected groups from across the UK taking part in the BBSRC 20 year anniversary celebration ‘The Great British Bioscience Festival’. We introduced the public to the parasites and some snail hosts, played top trumps, giant parasite lifecycle jigsaws and made wormy art. 6700 people attended the event and the Worm Wagon was even featured on a very early edition of London Life.
  • Highlights of the festival can be seen in this video.
  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank and Joanne Pennock who were awarded public engagement grants from the British Society of Immunology.

October 2014

  • Kathryn Else has published a paper with Becky Hurst describing that Trichuris-specific RXR antagonists may be a source of much-needed novel anthelmintic candidates for the treatment of trichuriasis. Further, the identification of an RXR-like sequence in the T. muris genome also paves the way for further research based on this new anthelmintic lead compound: Hurst RJ, et al An antagonist of the retinoid X receptor reduces the viability of Trichuris muris in vitro.BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 27;14(1):520.
  • Andrew Macdonald has published a paper with Susanna Fagerholm on beta2-integrins and dendritic cells in Nature Communications; 'Loss of beta2-integrin-mediated cytoskeletal linkage reprogrammed dendritic cells to a mature migratory phenotype.' Morrison et al., Nature Communications 5: 5349.
  • Richard Grencis and John Grainger published a commentary in Nature Immunology: Neutrophils worm their way into macrophage long-term memory. Nat Immunol, 15(10), 902-4. eScholarID: 238318 | PMID: 25232812 | DOI: 10.1038/ni.2990
  • Andrew Macdonald hosted Soren Beinke, Paul Redford and Nikolai Belyaev from the Refractory Respiratory-Inflammation DPU at GSK Stevenage for their visit to MCCIR on the 6th October to discuss lung epithelial and dendritic cell activation.
  • John Grainger talking at EMIG
  • Andrew Macdonald, Mark Travis, John Grainger were invited speakers at the European Mucosal Immunology Group Congress and Sheena Cruickshankand John Worthington also gave talks there. Felipe from the Travis lab also presented a poster.
  • As well as talking at EMIG Sheena Cruickshank also gave several media interviews about ebola including one live from the conference to Sky news! She talked on Radio 5, Radio BBC midlands, Key 103 and was a guest on BBC Breakfast.
  • Schistosoma macdonaldus. (Andrew macdonald having a parasite selfie)
  • Andrew Macdonald was an invited speaker at the Portugese Society of Immunology meeting in Lisbon (Oct 13th - 15th), where he spoke about dendritic cells in Type 2 inflammation.
  • Mark Exley gave talks at Medimmune and also Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and Guy's Hospital in King's College London.
  • Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk about parasites and behaviour as part of the Manchester Science Festival’s “Science Showoff” at MOSI to a packed audience.
  • The worm wagon GBbioscifest stand
  • Sheena Cruickshank and Kathryn Else and our amazing helpers Ruth, Michael, Maria, Lydia, Mushref, Emma constructed our stand in Michael Smith Café as practice for the Great British Bioscience Festival which will be in London from the 13t November. After much weight lifting it was brilliant to see the exhibit all at once and our parasite selfie stand that we constructed for the event has been proving a big hit in the faculty!
  • Dan Davis wrote a blog called The Urgent Debate for AstraZeneca.

September 2014

  • Firstly a massive welcome to our new starters. We have lots of new Phd students including Josh Casulli, Ellie Sherwood and Ellie Shuttleworth in the Travis group, Maya Glover and Rebecca Shears in the Grencis/Thornton lab, Pablo Palazon in the Lopez-Castejon lab, and Gurdeep Singh in the Cruickshank lab to name but a few.
  • Dan at the congress in Prague
  • Dan Davis presented at The International Microscopy Congress (Prague), a meeting on Translating Imaging - From the bench to clinic (Oxford), and The Bioimaging Conference Oxford.
  • Richard Grencis was an invited speaker at the VIII molecular and cellular biology of helminths meeting in Hydra, Greece and recently gave a seminar at the MRC human Immunology Unit in Oxford. He also gave a presentation at the MRC UK-Brazilian Infectious Disease workshop held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was in Liverpool where she gave a talk on the hygiene hypothesis to the Merseyside Skeptics Society.
  • Congratulations to Dan Davis whose fabulous book “The Compatibility Gene” has been short-listed for the Society of Biology General Book Prize.
  • Mark and John Worthington entertaining the speakers until the wee hours
  • We also had two excellent meetings in Manchester. The start of the month saw us host the BSI sponsored Inflammation meeting including esteemed speakers such as Professor Richard Flavell, Professor Nancy Rothwell and Professor Luke O’ Neill. Thanks to David and Gloria for organising this! All the speakers and chairs attended an entertaining evening meal and Mark and John Worthington entertained the speakers until the wee hours. Pete Cook from the Macdonald group was one of the poster winners at the Inflammation meeting.
  • At the end of the month we also held a Manchester microscopy workshop with esteemed speakers including Professor Ilan Davies and Professor Mike White. Thanks to Dan Davis who organised this excellent event.
  • Matthew Little from Kathryn Else's group has published an interesting article about macrophage function during development and resolution of Trichuris infection.
  • A paper published on method reporting by Oscar, Michael, Sheena Cruickshank and Andy Brass was discussed in a blog by Robert Stevens.
  • Andrew Macdonald was in Tours, France at the International Dendritic Cell congress, presenting our data on Type I IFN and dentritic cell activation during Th2 responses.
  • The Macdonald group published two papers:
    Reynolds et al, JI 193(6):2984-31. 'MyD88 signaling inhibits protective immunity to the gastrointestinal helminth parasite Heligmosomoides polygyrus.'
    Robson et al, Cancer Res 74(18):5019-31. ‘Optimal effector functions in human natural killer cells rely upon autocrine bone morphogenetic protein signalling.'

August 2014

Worm Wagon images

A quieter month as many of us were away on holiday. Highlights this month include:

  • Congratulations to Kathryn Else who was awarded a small grant with colleagues in MHS and St Mary’s hospital to assess whether the time of day of vaccination impacts on the potency of the immune response.
  • Amy Saunders has a paper in the “Journal of Immunology” showing that CD45 on innate cells is necessary for T cell proliferation.
  • Sheena Cruickshank talked on Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, Sky News and BBC News about the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
  • Richard Grencis attended the International Congress of parasitology, ICOPA XIII which was held in Mexico City and gave two invited talks on immunity to Trichuris and Trichinella.
  • Sheena Cruickshank and Kathryn Else, together with Michael, Ruth, John and Lydia, were at the Manchester Museum with The Worm Wagon. Visitors made wormy Rangoli and found out about how you catch parasite infection. Sample feedback included “Very interesting and informative, whilst being also unnerving. Thanks for the knowledge” and “Great exhibit, thought provoking information.”
  • We have two exciting meetings in September. First is the BSI sponsored Inflammation Affinity group meeting organised by David Brough. On the 30th September, Dan Davis hosts a meeting “Fluorescence microscopy for understanding cell biology in Health and Disease” at Staff House.

July 2014

Just because its holiday time doesn’t mean everything stops here. Yet another action packed month here with some members even taking the plunge for charity.

  • Congratulations to Mark Travis who was awarded a 3 year MRC project grant to study the role of TGF-beta activation in controlling regulatory T-cell function.
  • Mark Exley gave an invited talk at the Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy.
  • John Worthington was at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Fiona Gribble for the to learn new techniques and also gave a presentation to the gut endocrine labs whilst there.
  • Mark Travis was VERY busy giving seminars. He talked at University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, Cornell University and Rockerfeller University, and finally at NIH. Phew!
  • Sheena Cruickshank and Michael Bramhall have published a paper in PLOSone with colleagues from EPS on the method reporting in infection papers and outlined where there are issues that make reproducibility across disciplines problematic . The paper is entitled “The quality of methods reporting in parasitology experimentsThe quality of methods reporting in parasitology experiments.”
  • Sheena Cruickshank has also published a paper with colleagues in FMHS on the role of probiotics in preventing pathogen induced keratinocyte death entitled “Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Inhibits the Toxic Effects of Staphylococcus aureus on Epidermal Keratinocyte in “Applied and Envionmental Microbiology.”
  • Andrew Macdonald was teaching on the 'Immunobiology of Schistosomiasis’ on the Biology of Parasitism course in Woods Hole, USA.
  • Andrew also raised money for The Christie by swimming the Manchester canal. See if you can spot him! He has raised £565 so far and you can still sponsor him at his Just Giving page.
  • The sponsored swim

June 2014

  • Welcome to Joanne Konkel and John Grainger who join us as independent research fellows.
  • Richard Grencis has published the first Whipworm Genome paper: Whipworm genome and dual-species transcriptome analyses provide molecular insights into an intimate host-parasite interaction. By Foth BJ, et al. Nat Genet. 2014 Jun 15. doi: 10.1038/ng.3010. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Andrew Macdonald’s paper on DNA methylation and ‘split personality’ T cells during helminth infection came out and was highlighted in the June issue of the European Journal of Immunology.
  • The worm wagon at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
  • Congratulations to Dan Davis who’s fantastic book “The Compatibility Gene” has been long-listed for The Royal Society Winton Book Prize 2014.
  • Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank, Kathryn Else and Indira Mclean (Bolton College) whose ESOL project on infection and health was in the finals. It was selected out of over 230 projects for the NCCPE Impact award. The awards were presented by Professor Alice Roberts at a ceremony in the Natural History Museum, London.
  • Kathryn Else, Joanne Pennock and Sheena Cruickshank helped by Vicky Kinsley were invited to bring the worm wagon to the Cheltenham Science Festival. The activity was themed around infection and infection prevention and the germ detectives (pictures on right) were particularly well-received and we had great feedback (picture, bottom panel).
  • Richard Grencis gave an invited talk at recent Gordon Research Conference on The Biology of Host Parasite Relationship, Rhode Island
  • Andrew Macdonald was an invited speaker at the BSI Infection and Immunity affinity group meeting in Leeds.
  • Gloria Lopez-Castejon, Amy Saunders and Mark Travis attended the BSI young immunologist forum at Missenden Abbey (UK). This is an open forum to explore and discuss factors that underpin a successful research.
  • Joanne Pennock, Sheena Cruickshank and Werner Muller (see picture) all gave talks at the first ever British Society of Gastroenterology conference science day. Mark Exley won the best poster prize. The day was well attended with lots of lively discussions.
  • The MCCIR had its’ first Scientific Advisory Board meeting. The days went really well, with resounding positivity on the strength of the science and the energy and momentum in the Centre.
  • Sheena and Kathryn helped by Maria Glymenaki showcased their new worm wagon activity of a giant whipworm life cycle jigsaw (picture on left) at the Life Sciences Community Day. Around 800 people attended the event and we had excellent feedback including: “Great and interesting stall. I picked up a lot of information and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the researcher for tackling real world problems. Great stuff.”
  • Had the first Manchester BBSRC DTP PhD symposium, and the Immunology group cleaned up with prizes. Congratulations to Vicky Kinsley (Pennock group) and Patrick (Couper/Cruickshank group) who won 3rd and 2nd prize for their posters and Charis (Hardman) and Ruth (Paczek) who won 3rd and 2nd prize for their talks.
  • Werner Muller gave a talk at the British Society of Gastroenterology conference science day Giant whipworm life cycle jigsaw, Community Open Day

May 2014

  • Andrew Macdonald gave a seminar at Cardiff University at the Institute of Infection and Immunity.
  • Mark Travis attended the American Association of Immunology Congress in Pittsburgh where he presented a poster entitled 'Expression and regulation of the TGF-beta activating integrin alphav beta8 on human mononuclear phagocytes.' Mark also attended the Immunobiology and Immunochemistry Gordon Conference at Maine where he presented a poster entitled 'Expression of the TGF-beta-activating integrin alphav beta8 by Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells is essential for suppression of T-cells during inflammatory disease'.
  • Dan Davis presented “The Compatibility Gene” on the Wales Stage at The Hay Festival. The talk was attended by 700 people and was chaired by Liz Hunt, Deputy Editor of The Daily Telegraph.
  • Dan's book The Compatibility Gene was reviewed in Nature Medicine.
  • Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk on the Hygiene Hypothesis at the Manchester Museum to accompany the “From the War of Nature” Exhibition. Kathryn Else also presented the story of Trichuris to accompany the exhibition.
  • Mark Travis gave a talk to year 6 pupils at Chapelford Village Primary School as part of their 'Wonder of Work' week, telling students about working as a research scientist.
  • Andrew Macdonald has registered for the Great Manchester Swim, taking place on the 19th July, to try and raise some money for The Christie, for cancer research, care and treatment. It's his first ever open water swim and if you would like to sponsor him please visit his Just Giving page.

April 2014

Happy Easter! Several of us were away this month at various meetings and conferences including Woods Hole Immunoparasitology conference in the USA, The Microbiome Conference in Cambridge and the British Society of Parasitology in Cambridge.

  • Andrew Macdonald gave a seminar on dendritic cell involvement in Type 2 inflammation during schistosome infection, at the BSP annual congress in Cambridge.
  • Maria Glymenaki from the Cruickshank and Else groups gave a talk on the role of epithelial anti-microbials and the microbiota in the progression of colitis at the Wellcome Trust microbiome Conference.
  • Lauren Webb from the Macdonald group gave a talk about her work on Type I IFN and dendritic cell function at the Woods Hole Immunoparasiotology conference in the USA.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was invited to give a talk at the annual Sceptic Society Conference (Q.E.D. Con) and discussed the Hygiene Hypothesis as well as a panel debate on medical myths and media.
  • Dan Davis gave a talk for the “Day of Immunology”, at Nature's office in London.
  • Sheena Cruickshank has made a short video about parasites as part of the new “From the War of Nature” exhibition at the Manchester Museum which opened at Easter.
  • Congratulations to Emma Murphy (from the Else lab) selected for 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Research Travel award of $1850 to visit David Satetells’s lab at UCL.
  • Congratulations to Andrew Macdonald and Richard Grencis who have been awarded Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support funding to establish a germ free murine facility in the BSF. For more information or to register you interest, please contact Prof MacDonald ( the academic lead for the new facility.
  • Congratulations to Kathryn Else who has been shortlisted for a Faculty Best Lecturer Award by students as part of the Manchester University Student Union’s Teaching Awards 2014.
  • Dan Davis has published this new paper on the marvels of presenting the immune system with a big shout out to the Worm Wagon in Nature Reviews Immunology.
  • Sheena Cruickshank has published an article on the Worm Wagon and her work with ESOL classes teaching about infection and improving science literacy in “The Biologist.”
  • Werner Muller has contributed to two papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2) in Immunity pointing to the important role of the Interleukin-10 receptor to control inflammation in the gut.

March 2014

March is always a busy time as its National Science and Engineering week so we had a lot of activities as part of this. We also had many papers and talks as you can see. A very busy month!

  • Congratulations to Mercy, Tim, Maren and Jesse from Trinity C of E High School, who were in the final of the National science and Engineering Competition. They presented their Royal Society funded Trichuris project with Jo Pennock and Dr Alnuamaani (Trinity) to the judges at the Big Bang fair in Birmingham.
  • Members of MCCIR and the Manchester Immunology Group led by Mark Travis and Andrew Macdonald brought the Worm Wagon to The Body Experience in Manchester Museum.
  • Dan Davis gave a talk at The Royal Institution, London.
  • Sheena Cruickshank gave talk at the Student Union on Women In Science.
  • Congratulations to Dr Sheena Cruickshank and Professor Kathryn Else who were awarded £10,000 from BBSRC to create an exhibit for the Great British Bioscience Festival.
  • Richard Grencis taught on the Wellcome Trust/MRC supported Immunology in the Tropics Course run through Makere University and the Uganda Virus Research Institute, in Entebbe, Uganda.
  • Kathryn Else has published a paper on whipworm infection in the MDR1a model of colitis World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Feb 21;20(7):1797-806.
  • Mark Travis has published a useful review on TGF? in Annual Review of Immunology Travis MA & Sheppard D (2014). TGF-ß activation and function in immunity. Ann. Rev. Immunol.
  • Matthew Hardman published a paper comparing wound healing models in the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration.
  • Andrew Macdonald published on T cell DNA methylation during helminth infection in the European Journal of Immunology.
  • Richard Grencis and Kelly have published a paper on “Sex-dependent genetic effects on immune responses to a parasitic nematode” in BMC Genomics.2014, 15:193
  • Kelly and Richard Grencis also spoke at the European Meeting for Young researchers on soil transmitted helminths held in Jongy, Switzerland.
  • Andrew Macdonald gave a host of seminars including the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, The Sanger Institute in Cambridge, and UCL London.
  • Matthew Hardman and Helen Thomason both spoke at the JWC Technology Forum. David has just returned from presenting at the 2nd UK-Israel Regenerative Medicine Conference. The Hardman group were also at the Singapore International Skin Conference where Mat Hardman, Clare Garcin and Helen Williams gave talks. A big congratulations to Clare who was awarded the prize for best talk and Charis and Nichola who received poster prizes.
  • And last but by no mean least: Please support Mushref, Kevin and Ryan who are running in this year’s greater Manchester Marathon. Mushref and Kevin are raising money for Manchester Mencap and Ryan is collecting for the Christies heart foundation. To donate, please visit Mushref and Kevin's Just Giving page or Ryan's Just Giving page.

February 2014

It may be a short month but as ever it’s been a packed month for the Manchester Immunology Group.

  • Congratulations to John Worthington formally of the Travis group who has been awarded a University Stepping Stones Fellowship (funded by the Wellcome Trust) to investigate the interactions between the gut's endocrine and immune systems during homeostasis and inflammation.
  • It's an all MIG or ex MIG FLS podcast this month. Join Andrew, Mark and Sheena and Rowann Bowcutt (now at New York University) to learn about the hygiene hypothesis and worm infection.
  • Andrew Macdonald has published a paper in EMBO on RNA:DNA hybrid recognition by TLR9 came out in EMBO.
  • Andrew has also published a paper on serum microRNAs as novel biomarkers of helminth infection in PLoS NTDs.
  • Sheena Cruickshank was out and about giving talks to not one but three schools!- Bolton School, Loreto College and Wilmslow High School.
  • Gareth-Rhys Jones from the Macdonald lab gave a talk about epigenetic regulation of colonic inflammation to an audience of > 4000 people (!) at the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) conference in Copenhagen. Simon Borg-Bartolo of the Cruickshank group was also at the ECCO meeting where he presented a poster of his ECCO funded work on Dendritic cell migratory Reponses to microbiota components.
  • Andrew Macdonald spent a fantastic day meeting with some of the scientists and giving a seminar at GSK Stevenage.
  • Sad news though as we bid a fond farewell to Becky – who has left to take up a post doc position in Singapore. Lots of hugs all around as you can see.
  • Finally, Dan Davis will be talking at the The Royal Institution next month. In anticipation of this event, Deborah Waller has written this blog.

January 2014

And a Happy New Year from all in the Manchester Immunology Group!

  • Professor Dan Davis takes part in a TEDxYouth event.
  • Welcome to Cecilia Forss who has started her PhD in Andrew Macdonald’s lab lab.  She’ll be working on ‘Mechanisms of cross-talk between pulmonary epithelial cells and dendritic cells during Type 2 inflammation’.
  • Kevin Couper gave a seminar to the Bristol Immunology Group on pathogenic T cells in experimental cerebral malaria
  • David Brough has published that Zinc depletion regulates IL-1 secretion in “Cell Death and Disease”.
  • Andrew Macdonald was at the Keystone Emerging Cytokine Networks meeting in Vancouver, where he was presenting some of their data on epigenetic control of dendritic cell driven Type 2 inflammation.  While there, he also spent a day visiting UBC where he met some of the PIs and gave a seminar. John Worthington from the Travis group was also at the Keystone conference and gave two poster presentations, entitled "Integrin alphav beta8 is essential for TGFβ-mediated regulatory T-cell function during autoimmunity" and "Loss of the TGF-beta-activating integrin alphav beta8 on dendritic cells protects mice from chronic intestinal parasite infection via control of type 2 immunity"
  • Congratulations to Dan Davis whose research was cited as one of top scientific discoveries of 2013 in the January issue of Discover magazine, online here: Immune Attack Up Close.
  • Dan Davis’s work was also featured in a Nature article on imaging: Medical imaging: Removing the blindfold.
  • Sheena Cruickshank has published a paper in “Mucosal Immunology” entitled “A role for the pattern recognition receptor Nod2 in mediating recruitment of CD103+ dendritic cells to the colon in response to infection”.


December 2013

This month saw many of us disappear to the annual BSI congress with over 10 posters from our groups. Kevin from the Travis group was a co-organiser of the 'Bright Sparks in Immunology' and Dan Davis chaired a session Imaging and also gave a research talk. Congratulations to Pete Cook from the Macdonald lab who won second place in the postdoc 'Bright Sparks in Immunology' session, with his talk titled 'Epigenetic control of Th2 induction by dendritic cells via the methyl-CpG binding protein Mbd2'. As well as the BSI we did a few other things…

Werner Muller has published a new paper: IFN-?-Mediated Induction of an Apical IL-10 Receptor on Polarized Intestinal Epithelia.

Congratulations to Lauren Webb from Andrew Macdonald's lab who passed her PhD viva, on the topic of "Differential activation of dendritic cell subsets by the parasitic helminth Schisosoma mansoni".

Dan Davis was mentioned in an article about popular science published in Nature and was featured in an article in the current Microscopy and Analysis.

Dan published a paper in Blood entitled “Human mesenchymal stromal cells deliver systemic oncolytic measles virus to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the presence of humoral immunity.”

Sheena Cruickshank and Catherine Bailey from the Muller group published a paper in PLOSone entitled "Intestinal Intraepithelial Lymphocyte-Enterocyte Crosstalk Regulates Production of Bactericidal Angiogenin 4 by Paneth Cells upon Microbial Challenge"

Dan Davis bravely presented in "Science Show off" in Liverpool and talked about his book.

Sheena can be heard talking about worms and her inability to walk properly on the "Infinite Monkey Cage" in a show entitled "Science and Spin."

Andrew Macdonald was in Newcastle where he gave a talk to the Immunology North East BSI regional group on dendritic cells and Type 2 inflammation.

November 2013

This month saw us host an amazing half day meeting , celebrate grant success, explain worm life cycles at Science Spectacular and some infinite monkey-ness!

Congratulations to Kevin Couper who was awarded an MRC project grant of £475 entitled "mTOR control of effector CD4+ T cell activation during malaria infection".

Congratulations to Dan Davis whose book "The Compatibility Gene" was a Guardian Book of the Year 2013 as picked by Bill Bryson.

Andrew Macdonald hosted a half day MCCIR macrophage symposium which featured a host of internal speakers as well as Professors Simon Gordon and Judi Allen, major names in the macrophage biology field.

Ana from Kevin Couper's group has published a paper in PLoS One on the role of WSX-1 pathway in T helper cell migration to the liver in malaria infection.

A second paper from the Couper group in Infection and Immunity describes the role of IL27R signalling in malaria infection.

Dan Davis has published on the role of microRNAs in hepatocyte growth in the Journal of Immunology.

Another paper from the Davis group addresses natural killer receptor dynamics in the Biophysical Journal.

Congratulations to Sarah Otto (supervised by Loudon, Else, Ray and Farrow) who successfully defended her PhD thesis, on the topic of the importance of circadian rhythm in immunity to gut-dwelling worms.

Sheena Cruickshank, Kathyrn Else, Rosie, Maria, Becky, Szu Wei were all at the Manchester Museum where, despite the rain and fire alarm, spoke to 1700 people about the important of gut worm infection as part of Science Spectacular. We debuted some new games and activities including our life cycle game and worm jewellery making as seen here.

Werner Muller was one of the scientists in"I’m a Scientist" and answered hosts of questions on science and even music!

Richard Grencis was also at Science Spectacular and gave a 1 minute talk on worm infection.

Tracy Hussell and Andrew Macdonald were both far afield teaching on an MSc Immunology course in Paris.

Dan Davis has been giving many talks this month including the keynote after dinner speech at the AstraZeneca Science Symposium, two lectures in Cambridge, and one in St. Anne's Fulshaw Primary school, Cheshire, on 'Your Amazing Blood'.

Sheena Cruickshank wrote a blog about our Worm Wagon for the British Science Association.

Sheena Cruickshank and Matthew Cobb were amongst the guests on the Radio 4 show "The Infinite Monkey Cage" which was recorded this month and airs next month on the 23rd December.

October 2013

October sees the start of the Manchester Science Festival where we did some exciting events with more to follow next month. As well in our news:

A massive welcome to our new MCCIR Flow Cytometry Facility manager Gareth Howell who joins us from Leeds University. Gareth has launched himself into getting the new facility running smoothly, and will be sending round info to the wider community soon to let people know what is available and when.

Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who won the Society of Biology communicator of the year award. It was in fact a double for Manchester with wins for junior and established researcher categories! Hear Rebecca Williams and Sheena talk about their awards in the Life Sciences Podcast.

Dan Davis has published a paper showing Nanoscale Ligand Spacing Influences Receptor Triggering in T Cells and NK Cells. Nano Lett. 2013.

Dan Davis has also published a review of the central role of the cytoskeleton in mechanisms and functions of the NK cell immune synapse. Immunol Rev. 2013 256:203-21.

There has been a big buzz about Mark Travis's exciting new paper in PLoS Pathogens which shows the importance of the avß8 integrin in helminth parasite infection: Worthington JJ, et al. Loss of the TGFß-Activating Integrin avß8 on Dendritic Cells Protects Mice from Chronic Intestinal Parasitic Infection via Control of Type 2 Immunity. PLoS Pathog, 9, e1003675.

Dan Davis's book The Compatibility Gene continues to receive wonderful reviews and all copies have sold out in USA and the book is now being reprinted. Well done Dan!

Andrew Macdonald was at Imperial in London where he gave a talk on Type 2 inflammation and Dendritic Cells.

Andrew's group also attended a fantastic and collaborative lab retreat about all things schistosome at Gregynog Castle in Wales, with the groups of Karl Hoffmann (Aberystwyth), Mark Wilson (Mill Hill) and Adrian Mountford (York). We just managed to avoid the storm…

We are always busy during the Manchester Science Festival and this year is no exception. Dan Davis gave two talks at Manchester Science Festival.

Jo Pennock and Kathyrn Else and lots of our amazing MIG helpers were in Royal Exchange Square making wormy art and spreading the message about the significance of the worm neglected tropical diseases. Jo has uploaded a video.

We haven’t finished with Manchester Science Festival and on Saturday Richard Grencis will deliver a 1 minute talk and Sheena Cruickshank and Kathyrn Else and our amazing MIG helpers will be delivering 2 exciting wormy activities including some new parasite games made by our PhD interns Rosie Griffiths and Maria Giovanna Lizio.

September 2013

September is always a busy month as our new undergraduates and postgraduates join us. So welcome to all the new starters!

Welcome To Patrick Strangward a new PhD student who joins Kevin Couper, Sheena Cruickshank and Stuart Allan’s groups and will be working on the role of macrophages in neuro-inflammation. Welcome also to two new PhD students who start in Dan Davis's lab; Mezida Saeed and Katja Srpan.Vicky Bridge joins the Pennock lab and Freya Svedberg joins the Macdonald lab and will work on 'Self renewal of airway macrophages and dendritic cells during pulmonary inflammation'. Welcome to Manchester everyone.

We have also seen some new postdoctoral fellows join us. Hazel England joins the Pawel Paszek lab working on the SysMedIBD project and Stefan Balint joins the Dan Davis Dan Davis group.

Welcome too to Maryam Moradi a new technician who joins Jo Pennock's group.

We also have two PhD interns from the BBSRC DTP PhD scheme join us; Rosie Griffiths and Maria Giovanna Lizio who are creating some fabulous new resources for The Worm Wagon!

Mark Travis was in London where he and members of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research (Dave Thornton, Rachel Lennon, Charles Streuli, Ceri Harrop) did a massive public engagement event at the Natural History Museum to an estimated 10,000 people called 'Science Uncovered.' This event was part of a European-wide event that looked to get members of the public talking to scientists. There was a preview of the event in the Telegraph.

Dan Davis discussed the Wonders of the Immune System on the Guardian Science Podcast.

Next month is the Manchester Science Festival and The Worm Wagon will be very much out in action with activities in Royal Exchange Square and Manchester Museum - hope to see you there!

August 2013

Despite holidays, we managed to pack in a few highlights for the Manchester Immunology Group!

Pawel Paszek's group were in Milan for the International Congress of Immunology where they presented their work. James Bagnall gave a talk titled: "Single cell dynamics of macrophage activation" and Ruth Brignall gave a talk titled "Single cell analysis of molecular networks involved in T-cell activation and signalling." Nisha Patel and Chris Boddington also had poster presentations.

Lauren Webb from Andrew Macdonald's lab put the finishing touch to her PhD thesis which has now been submitted. Well done!

Kathyrn Else and Becky Hurst have published a fantastic and useful review on the research using Trichuris muris in Parasitology. Hurst RJM and Else KJ. Trichuris muris research revisited: A journey through time. Parasitology 2013 140(11):1325-39.

Dan Davis has had a manic month as his book "The Compatibility Gene" was launched. As well as a sell-out launch event in Waterstones, Dan has had rave reviews from places as diverse as The New Statesman, The Times and The Guardian and has been interviewed on radio and BBC breakfast TV. You can watch Dan talk about the book here: What brings two people together? It's all in the genes

The Worm Wagon at Jodrell Bank

Last but not least, Michael Bramhall, Becky Hurst, Amanda Gallagher and Emma Murphy took the worm wagon back to Live from Jodrell Bank where Sigor Ros were headlining. 10,000 attendees flocked to the event and people helped make two giant wormy rangoli-based pieces of art!

July 2013

At last British summertime truly arrived! Alongside the sunshine and a fantastic Wimbledon victory we also had lots of other excitement in the Manchester Immunology Group!

Dan Davis's group have published a new imaging paper. To find out more you can read a discussion about it and even listen to a Podcast of Dan discussing the research.

Dan's book "The Compatibility Gene" is in Bookshops in August. (Image courtesy of FLS Photographics Unit).

Werner Muller has published a EUMODIC N and J paper entitled "A comparative phenotypic and genomic analysis of C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mouse strains." doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-7-r82.

Mark Travis and Tom Fenton went to the International Congress of Mucosal Immunology in Vancouver on 17th-20th July. Tom gave a poster entitled "Regulation of Integrin avß8 Expression on Dendritic Cells Modulates TGFß-Dependent Immune Responses". Mark gave a talk entitled "Loss of the TGFß Activating Integrin avß8 on Dendritic Cells Protects Mice from Chronic Intestinal Parasitic Infection via Control of Type 2 Immunity".

Welcome to Aoife Kelly, a new post-doc who has started in Mark's lab. Aoife will be working on how intestinal immunity is regulated in humans.

Mark and Sheena Cruickshank were in London for the annual RCUK school regional champion meeting which had guest speakers from the Society of Biology and Ecology to name but a few.

This month was a really busy month for the Worm Wagon. Sheena and Alison Bancroft ran an event at Science Stars which was attended by around 250 students (12-14 years old) and teachers. Students did a range of activities including viewing parasites down microscopes, playing Top Trumps and learning about immunology. Thanks to all the fantastic helpers who made this possible including Vicky Chapman, Kelly Hayes, Michael Bramhall, Amy Saunders, Gloria Lopez-Castejon, Michael Bramhall, Laura Battrick and Szu Wei Huang.

Sheena, Jo Pennock, Kathryn Else, Emma Lawrence, Becky Hurst and Michael Bramhall and The Worm Wagon were also at the very sunny "Live at Jodrell Bank" this year where we worked with thousands of festival visitors to make 2 gigantic and beautiful worm inspired pieces of art before enjoying some amazing live music including New Order.

Andrew Macdonald was away teaching at the Biology of Parasitism course in Woods Hole (USA) on the 'The Immunobiology of Schistosomiasis'.

And last but not least, we held the BSI sponsored meeting at the University. The conference was entitled "The biology of clinical relevance of Interleukin-10." We had some fantastic talks including Anne O'Garra, Klau Rajewsky, Axel Roers, Robert Jack, Marina Pils and David Wraith all to a packed venue. Prior to the conference saw an afternoon of intense and focused discussion with the guest speakers and the members of the MIG before relaxing over an amazing dinner.

June 2013

It's been a busy month for the group! We have all been madly preparing for the IL10 meeting which will be in a future news edition.

To find out what Dan Davis's group are up to and get a look at some cool images you can visit his brand new webpage.

As if that weren't enough, Dan's group also co-authored a technical paper about microscope development, and contributed a new review on Super-resolution microscopy of the immunological synapse!

Andrew Macdonald went to the University of York where he gave a seminar about DCs and Th2 inflammation, and spent the day talking immunology with the folks at the Centre for Immunology and Infection.

Welcome to Andrew Macdonald and his group who moved to the MCCIR this month. Thanks for bringing some sunshine which also made a welcome return this month!

Mark Travis gave a seminar to the Aberdeen Immunology Group entitled 'Gut reactions: the role of dendritic cells, integrins and TGF-beta in regulating intestinal immunity'.

Sheena Cruickshankchaired a science session at the British Society of Gastroenterology Congress. Michael Bramhall was selected to give a talk at the BSG on his work on the role of RAGE in coltis. As well as Michael, Simon Borg Bartolo from the Cruickshank group was also at the BSG where his poster on dendritic cell and microbiota interactions won a poster of distinction award.

Pawel Paszek gave an invited talk at the Network Models in Cellular Regulation NetSCiRe'13 Copenhagen meeting titled: 'Dynamics and Function of the NF-kappaB regulatory network.'

With the help of several members of MIG and MCCIR, Gloria Lopez-Castejon ran a science week activity called "Microbes, microbes everywhere." This is the second year the event has taken place at Wilmslow Grange Primary School. Year 6 students enjoyed learning about what microbes are and how they can be both good and bad for us.

This month also saw the official celebration of the opening of The Beast Within pictures that are now housed in AV Hill. We were delighted to be joined by several of the immunology and MCCIR group as well as the artist himself, Paul Evans, and Anna Bunney from Manchester Museum.

May 2013

Pawel Paszek gave a talk at the annual BSI Mathematical Immunology Meeting in Cambridge titled "Dynamic and function of NF-kappaB inflammatory signalling".

Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk at the BSI meeting on gut immunity in Aberdeen on epithelial and dendritic cell interactions in inflammation.

Kevin Couper’s group have published a paper on a novel role for IL27R in regulation of IL12 signalling in malaria infection. IL-27 receptor signalling restricts the formation of pathogenic, terminally differentiated Th1 cells during malaria infection by repressing IL-12 dependent signals. By Villegas-Mendez A et al in PLoS Pathog. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003293.

Mark Travis gave a talk at the American Association of Immunology Centenary Congress in Honolulu entitled 'The TGFβ-activating integrin αvβ8 on dendritic cells regulates type 2 immunity in the intestine to promote chronic parasitic infection'.

And last but not least! Come visit us for the BSI sponsored meeting entitled, “The biology of clinical relevance of Interleukin-10.” The meeting will be held at the Michael Smith Building on the 4th and 5th July. We have some fantastic speakers including internal speakers from us, as well as Anne O’Garra, Klau Rajewsky, Axel Roers, Robert Jack, Marina Pils and David Wraith. For details and registration see: The biology of clinical relevance of Interleukin-10

April 2013

Rebecca Hurst and Kathryn Else have just published a paper on the effects of chronic worm infection on dendritic cell and macrophage function in Parasite Immunology entitled "The retinoic acid producing capacity of gut dendritic cells and macrophages is reduced during persistent T. muris infection."

Kathryn Else and Sheena Cruickshank contributed to the FLS podcast which features the mind altering powers of parasites including Toxoplasma gondii. To find out more listen to the podcast.

Sheena Cruickshank gave a talk on impact and research to the Manchester GRADschool.

Dan Davis has published a paper on how and why the anti-cancer drug Rituximab is effective at killing cells. The paper is available from Blood and is entitled “Rituximab causes a polarisation of B cells which augments its therapeutic function in NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity” by Rudnicka D et al.

Dan Davis has also published a book entitled “The Compatibility Gene” which is published by Penguin. This exciting book takes readers on a journey of discovery spanning 60 years encompassing the history of transplants and immunology. That journey has revealed astonishing links between who we are as individuals and our never-ceasing struggle to survive disease. Most of our 25,000 genes we all possess are the same for all of us but compatibility genes vary dramatically from person to person. These compatibility genes are incredibly important as they directly determine which diseases we are susceptible or resistant to! Find out more about The Compatibility Gene.

March 2013

Congratulations to Joanne Pennock, Sheena Cruickshank and Kathryn Else who were awarded the International Women's Day 2013 Award for Woman in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This award was for the outreach work the Worm Wagon does which wouldn?t be possible without everyone in the Manchester Immunology Group who helps at our events.

Gloria Lopez-Castejon aided by Maria, Vicky, Sheena, Michael, Katherine, Kevin, Kathleen and Lottie ran a worm wagon activity at the very busy “Body Experience” event at Manchester Museum. Almost 2500 visitors came to find out about the human body! For more details and some pictures please see our public activities section.

Sheena was challenged to deliver a 1 minute lecture on parasites by Nowgen. Here are the results of the first series of One Minute Lectures.

Maff and Kathryn Else have just published a useful lay article about macrophages entitled “Macrophages - more than just big eaters.” by Little MC and Else KJ. Biological Sciences Review (2013) 25, 2-6.

Kevin Couper's group have just published their findings on the role of IL27 in CD4 T cell responses in malaria infection: IL-27 Receptor Signalling Regulates CD4+ T Cell Chemotactic Responses during Infection by Gwyer Findlay E, Villegas-Mendez A, et al in J Immunol. 2013.

Congratulations to Joanne Pennock who has been jointly awarded a grant with Dr Assas from King Abdul Aziz University entitled “Can the nervous system drive the immune response in the gut during parasite infection?”.

Sheena Cruickshank was out and about giving talks at Lancaster University and St Bart's Hospital- The Blizard Instuitute- on “The Role of Nod2 in infection”.

February 2013

Congratulations to Pawel Paszek who was awarded a Royal Society Research Grant to set up a microfluidic platform for measurement of cytokine inflammatory networks in living single cells using confocal microscopy.

Congratulations to Sheena Cruickshank who has been made a BBSRC RCUK regional schools champion.

Welcome to Simon Vautier a new postodctoral fellow working in Mark Travis's lab. Simon is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and will be working on the role of Tregs in bacterial infection.

Come and visit the Worm Wagon. We will be at the Manchester Museum on the 16th March as part of the annual Body Experience event which is part of National Science and Engineering Week. Learn about wriggling writhing worms and how your gut and immune response works!

January 2013

And a Happy New Year from all in the Manchester Immunology Group!

Mark Travis was far afield at the start of the year at one of the Keystone meetings: "Type 2 Immunity: Initiation, Maintenance, Homeostasis and Pathology" held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He gave a talk and poster entitled: "The TGFβ-Activating Integrin αvβ8 on Dendritic Cells Regulates Type 2 Immunity in the Intestine to Promote Chronic Parasitic Infection"

Welcome to Basmah El Dakhakhny a PhD student who joins Joanne Pennock's group and will be working on susceptibility genes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

And finally we bid a sad farewell to Emma Lawrence from the Grencis group who leaves us to go travelling.