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Professor Matthias Eberl

Professor Matthias Eberl

Personal Chair, Division of Infection and Immunity. Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement, School of Medicine.

School of Medicine

Email
eberlm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2068 7011
Campuses
3F08, Henry Wellcome Building for Biomedical Research, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I have always been interested in the molecular and cellular basis of host-pathogen relationships and the underlying modulation of complex immune responses.

During my PhD I established a screening method to identify CD4+ T cell antigens from cDNA libraries of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. I then extended these studies during a two-year postdoc, and investigated the cellular and humoral immune response to schistosomes upon infection and vaccination.

My research since 2000 has concentrated on defining the role of human γδ T cells in bridging innate and adaptive immune responses.

γδ T cells are the prototype of 'unconventional' lymphocytes in that they are not restricted by classical MHC and display characteristics of 'conventional' T cells, NK cells and myeloid cells. Normally only constituting a minor population in human blood, they occupy a unique niche in microbial recognition and contribute to tumour surveillance.

More recently we have started to characterise early immune responses in acutely infected patients and define pathogen-specific signatures of cellular and soluble biomarkers ('immune fingerprints').

Our work is placed at the interface of basic, translational, computational and clinical research and benefits greatly from interdisciplinary collaborations with immunologists, microbiologists, biochemists, epidemiologists, mathematicians, clinicians and commercial partners.

Besides implications for diagnosis and treatment of microbial infections this work has direct consequences for vaccine design and immunotherapy.

Biography

Career profile

  • since 08/2018
    Professor of Translational Immunology, Division of Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2015-2018
    Reader, Division of Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2011-2015
    Senior Lecturer, Cardiff Institute of Infection & Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2007-2011
    RCUK Fellow in Translational Research in Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2005-2006
    Postdoc, Institute of Cell Biology, University of Bern (Switzerland)
    Lab: Prof Bernhard Moser
  • 2000-2005
    Postdoc, Institute of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Giessen (Germany)
    Lab: Dr Hassan Jomaa
  • 1998-2000
    Postdoc, Department of Biology, University of York (UK)
    Lab: Prof Alan Wilson
  • 1995-1998
    PhD Student, Institute of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Giessen (Germany)
    Lab: Prof Ewald Beck

Honours and awards

  • 2018: Promotion to Personal Chair, Cardiff University
  • 2015: Promotion to Reader, Cardiff University
  • 2011: Promotion to Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • 2009: Best Free Communications Prize, European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting, Strasbourg, France
  • 2007: RCUK Fellowship in Translational Research in Experimental Medicine
  • 2007: Wellcome Trust 'VIP' Award
  • 1995: PhD Studentship, 'Graduiertenkolleg Molekulare Biologie und Pharmakologie', German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professional memberships

Speaking engagements

Seminars

  • Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2019)
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles (2017)
  • University of Würzburg (2016)
  • University of Cambridge (2013)
  • Barts and The London (2012)
  • CIDR, King's College London (2012)
  • University College Cork (2011)
  • CMCBI, King's College London (2011)
  • Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury (2009)
  • University of Würzburg (2008)
  • BSI South Wales Immunology Group, Cardiff (2007)
  • Institut Pasteur Parise (2005)
  • University of Bern (2005)
  • University of Freiburg (2005)
  • University of Giessen (2005)
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (2005)
  • University of Tübingen (2004)
  • University College Cork (2003)
  • Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow (2003)
  • Université Montpellier II (2002)

Invited speaker and/or session chair

  • Cardiff 2020: IMPROVE-PD – New Frontiers in Peritoneal Dialysis, Spring Academy
  • London 2020: Innovate UK Precision Medicine: Connecting Industries to UK Excellence
  • Liverpool 2019: British Society for Immunology
  • Cardiff 2019: National Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse Forum Meeting
  • Ljubljana 2019: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Bordeaux 2018: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Brussels 2018: Self-Care Dialysis Symposium
  • Dublin 2017: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Liverpool 2016: British Society for Immunology / Dutch Society for Immunology
  • London 2016: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Chicago 2015: FASEB Conference on Autoimmunity
  • Newcastle 2014: BSI Immunology North East Annual Symposium
  • Chicago 2014: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Maastricht 2013: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Glasgow 2012: European Congress of Immunology
  • Amsterdam 2012: EuTRiPD Academy
  • Freiburg 2012: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Palermo 2012: International PhD Program in Immunopharmacology
  • Birmingham 2011: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Cervo Ligure 2011: 5th Cervo Preclinical Working Conference
  • Galway 2011: Irish Society for Immunology
  • Vancouver 2010: Society for Leukocyte Biology / International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society
  • Kiel 2010: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • London 2008: Miltenyi T Cell Day
  • Marseille 2008: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Cardiff 2008: Wales Cancer Conference

Conference attendance

  • Erlangen 2019: Workshop FOR 2799 "Receiving and Translating Signals via the γδ TCR"
  • Brighton 2017: British Society for Immunology
  • Kraków 2015: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Madrid 2014: International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD)
  • Sheffield 2014: PD Research Day
  • Liverpool 2013: British Society for Immunology
  • Liverpool 2010: British Society for Immunology
  • Strasbourg 2009: European Peritoneal Dialysis Meeting (EuroPD)
  • Berlin 2009: European Congress of Immunology
  • Glasgow 2008: British Society for Immunology
  • Heidelberg 2007: German Society for Immunology
  • La Jolla 2006: International γδ T Cell Conference
  • Kiel 2005: German Society for Immunology / Scandinavian Society for Immunology
  • Uppsala 2004: XV International Symposium on Problems of Listeriosis
  • Maastricht 2004: German Society for Immunology / Dutch Society for Immunology
  • Harrogate 2003: British Society for Immunology
  • Berlin 2003: German Society for Immunology
  • Harrogate 2002: British Society for Immunology / British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • Marburg 2002: German Society for Immunology
  • Harrogate 1999: British Society for Immunology / British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • Woods Hole 1999: 3rd Immunoparasitology Meeting
  • Cambridge 1999: WHO/UNDP/World Bank Schistosoma Genome Network Meeting
  • Aussois 1998: Conferences Jacques Monod "Parasite Interactions with the Immune System: Protection or Pathology?"
  • Dresden 1998: German Society for Parasitology
  • Harrogate 1998: British Society for Immunology
  • Edinburgh 1997: "Parasitic Helminths - from Genomes to Vaccines"
  • Würzburg 1997: German Society for Immunology
  • Manchester 1997: British Society for Parasitology
  • Munich 1996: German Society for Parasitology

Committees and reviewing

Leadership roles

  • since 01/2020: Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • since 01/2017: Member of Board of Trustees, British Society for Immunology
  • since 08/2015: Engagement Lead, Systems Immunity Research Institute, Cardiff University
  • since 04/2014: Chair of PhD Appraisal Panels, Infection & Immunity, Cardiff University
  • since 05/2011: Founder and Administrator, γδ T Cell Forum
  • since 11/2009: Web Editor, Infection & Immunity, Cardiff University

PhD examiner

  • Cardiff University
  • King's College London
  • National University of Ireland, Maynooth
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • University of Bordeaux, France
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • University of Palermo, Italy
  • Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Reviewer for funding bodies

  • AERES - Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education, France
  • ATIP-Avenir (CNRS/Inserm), France
  • Barts and The London Charity, UK
  • BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Germany
  • Breast Cancer Now, UK
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association (CICRA), UK
  • Crohn's and Colitis UK
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany
  • Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), Netherlands
  • Dutch Research Council (NWO), Netherlands
  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, France
  • German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development
  • Institut National du Cancer (INCa), France
  • Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund, UK
  • Kidney Research UK
  • King’s Health Partners R&D Challenge Fund, UK
  • MRC - Medical Research Council, UK
  • Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Israel
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society, UK
  • National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), UK
  • Research Council of Norway
  • Research Grants Council, Hong Kong
  • University College Cork, Ireland
  • University of Liège, Belgium
  • Wellcome Trust, UK
  • Wilhelm Sander Foundation, Germany

Reviewer for scientific journals

  • American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology
  • Blood
  • Bone
  • BMC Immunology
  • Breast Cancer Research
  • Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Research
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell Biochemistry & Function
  • Cellular Immunology
  • Chronobiology International
  • Clinical Cancer Research
  • Clinical and Developmental Immunology
  • Clinical and Experimental Immunology
  • Clinical and Experimental Medicine
  • Current Cancer Drug Targets
  • Current Immunology Reviews
  • Cytokine
  • EMBO Reports
  • European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
  • European Journal of Immunology
  • Experimental Parasitology
  • FASEB Journal
  • FEBS Journal
  • Frontiers in Immunology
  • Haematologica
  • Human Immunology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Cell Biology
  • Immunology Letters
  • Infection and Immunity
  • International Immunology
  • International Journal of Artificial Organs
  • International Journal of Immunogenetics
  • International Urology and Nephrology
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
  • Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • Journal of Experimental Medicine
  • Journal of Immunology
  • Journal of Infectious Diseases
  • Journal of Leukocyte Biology
  • Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Journal of Translational Medicine
  • Kidney International
  • Malaria Journal
  • Microbes and Infection
  • Molecular Immunology
  • Mucosal Immunology
  • Nature Communications
  • Nature Reviews Immunology
  • Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
  • OncoImmunology
  • Oncology Reviews
  • Parasite Immunology
  • Peritoneal Dialysis International
  • PLoS ONE
  • PLoS Pathogens
  • Science Translational Medicine
  • Scientific Reports
  • Trends in Immunology
  • Trends in Molecular Medicine
  • Trends in Parasitology

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Teaching

In order to overcome the awe-inspiring complexity of the immune system and press it into digestible portions, immunology teaching is often in the danger of over-simplifying scenarios and/or following temporary fashions.  The main challenges are to keep up abreast with the latest literature and incorporate recent advances into the lessons; to transport one’s own enthusiasm for science to the students; to demonstrate that even the most complex mechanisms can be of enormous clinical relevance in health and disease; and to confront students with standard methods in diagnostic and research labs, but also to make them aware of the possibilities of modern technology.  My goal is to educate open-minded and critical students that are provided with all the scientific but also interpersonal tools required for being capable of questioning contemporary points of view and solving new problems.

I am committed to supporting the C21 medical curriculum by teaching, learning and professional updating. I contributed to effective small group teaching within the Year 2 SSC module “Interactive Immunology” every year, and have taught in modules on immunopathology/immunotherapeutics and on biomarkers/diagnostics to Year 3 and intercalated students, and given small group tutorials to Year 1 students. Since 2010 I have been acting as Personal Tutor/Academic Mentor for Medicine students.

I have trained and mentored undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory, including work experience and summer students, an internship students from France and Germany, and have trained PhD students from the UK, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Netherlands, Poland and Taiwan in my laboratory. I have supervised seven and co-supervised a further four PhD students, all of whom completed, or are on course to complete, their PhD within four years.

I serve as Chair of approx. 15 appraisal panels for PhD and MD students per year, and have been appointed as internal examiner and viva chair of PhD theses at Cardiff University and as external examiner of PhD theses in the UK, Ireland, Austria, France, Belgium, Italy and Portugal.

Immune fingerprints in acute infection

Diagnosing, treating and preventing infection in the face of a global spread of antimicrobial resistance and a constant risk of devastating pandemics is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.  However, there remains a lack of appreciation of how the body senses and fights different types of pathogens.

Our research aims to explore and exploit the pathophysiological events underlying pathogen-specific inflammatory responses for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.  The immune system has evolved to survey the body constantly for potentially hazardous structures.  Different pathogens express different molecular patterns and hence interact uniquely with distinct components of the immune system.  The type of infection is therefore likely to evoke distinct immunological signatures, or ‘immune fingerprints’, that can be assessed quantitatively and qualitatively.

A prime example for this discrimination of different pathogens is the unique responsiveness of unconventional T cells to common microbial metabolites that are shared by many bacterial pathogens but are absent from human cells.  γδ T cells and MAIT cells are rapidly drawn to sites of acute infection, where they will encounter invading microbes in the context of other immune cells, mainly neutrophils and monocytes, and the surrounding tissue.

Our findings indicate that in early infection this interplay will attract further effector cells, enhance the activity of scavenger cells and promote the development of microbe-specific immunity.  However, if triggered at the wrong time or the wrong site, this reaction may lead to inflammation-related damage and affect patient outcomes. The centre stage unconventional T cells take in orchestrating inflammatory cascades in microbial infections identifies these cells as prime targets for novel treatments and diagnostics.

We are aiming to define local and systemic pathogen-specific signatures of soluble and cellular immune biomarkers in diseases where early and targeted intervention is key and where clinical outcomes will benefit from better and earlier diagnostics.  We are studying individuals presenting with peritonitis, acute sepsis, urinary tract infection and ventriculitis, in collaborations with clinicians, microbiologists, statisticians, computer scientists and commercial partners.


Present and past group members

  • Sarah Baker, Research Assistant
  • Ross Burton, PhD student
  • Simone Cuff, Research Associate
  • Emily Jacob, MPhil student
  • Linda Moet, PhD student (co-supervisor)
  • Teja Rus, PhD student (co-supervisor)
  • Nicola Reeves, MD student (co-supervisor)
  • Raya Ahmed, Research Associate 2016-2019
  • Raj Bansal, PhD student 2007-2012
  • Amy Brook, PhD student 2015-2019
  • Hung-Chang Chen, PhD student 2011-2016
  • Chantal Colmont, Research Assistant 2013-2014
  • Martin Davey, PhD student/Research Associate 2008-2013
  • Ida Jackson (Friberg), Research Associate 2013-2015
  • Maximilian Keisker, Erasmus student 2017
  • Ariadni Kouzeli, PhD student 2015-2020 (co-supervisor)
  • Ann Kift-Morgan, Research Assistant 2011-2018
  • Chan-Yu Lin, PhD student 2009-2012
  • Anna Rita Liuzzi, PhD student/Research Associate 2013-2016
  • Christophe Macri, Internship student 2009
  • Salvador Martí Pérez, Research Associate 2009-2010
  • Oliwia Michalak, PhD student 2018-2020
  • Matt Morgan, PhD student 2011-2014 (co-supervisor)
  • Luke Piggott, PhD student 2009-2012 (co-supervisor)
  • Loic Raffray, Marie Curie Fellow 2017-2018
  • Michele Scotto di Mase, Internship student 2015
  • Yasmin Shanneik, Erasmus student 2014-2015
  • Chris Tyler, PhD student 2012-2016
  • Joanne Welton, Research Associate 2011-2013
  • Jingjing Zhang, Research Associate 2015-2016

Grant support

2019-2021
ACCELERATE project
"Precision medicine-based diagnosis of post-surgical complications in patient undergoing abdominal surgery"
Principal Applicant (with Prof. Ian Weeks, Prof. Jared Torkington, Dr. Rachel Morris)
£ 468,913 (18 months)

2019-2020
Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Cross-Disciplinary Award
"Rapid detection of life-threatening neurological infection by detecting immune fingerprints in cerebrospinal fluid"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. William Gray, Dr. Andreas Artemiou, Dr. Simone Cuff, Mr. Joseph Merola)
£ 49,996 (12 months)

2018-2021
Sêr Cymru II European Regional Development Fund Precision Medicine Fellowship (to Dr. Tom Pembroke)
"Immune fingerprinting of bacterial infections in cirrhosis"
Co-applicant (with Prof. Andrew Godkin)
£ 185,000 (36 months)

2018-2022
GW4 DTP PhD Studentship (to Oliwia Michalak)
"Machine-learning guided immune fingerprinting for rapid detection of life-threatening infection in liver cirrhosis
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Dr.  Tom Pembroke, Dr. Andreas Artemiou):  
ca. £ 70,000 (42 months)

2018-2021
School of Medicine PhD Studentship (to Ross Burton)
"Systemic immune fingerprints in patients with acute severe sepsis"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Dr. Andreas Artemiou, Dr. Matt Morgan, Prof. Peter Ghazal):
ca. £ 60,000 (36 months)

2018
Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Cross-Disciplinary Award
"Immune fingerprints in haemodialysis patients with acute infection"
Principal Applicant (with Dr. Soma Meran, Dr. Matt Morgan, Dr. Simone Cuff, Dr. Andreas Artemiou, Prof. Donald Fraser)
£ 49,955 (12 months)

2017-2018
EU Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (to Dr. Loic Raffray)
"Innate-like T-cells in sepsis (ILTIS): Implications for early diagnosis and rescue of immune suppression"
Main supervisor (co-supervisor Dr. Matt Morgan)
EU € 97,727 (12 months)

2017
MRC Proximity to Discovery Scheme (Biomedical Catalyst)
"Rapid detection and characterisation of life-threatening neurological infections"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Prof. Ian Weeks; co-applicant: Prof. William Gray)
£ 24,161 (6 months)

2017

Life Sciences Bridging Fund Wales, Pathfinder Grant
"Development of rapid in vitro diagnostic tests for early detection and characterisation of infection"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Prof. Ian Weeks; co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Dr. Fraser Logue)
£ 74,554 (12 months)

2016-2019
MRC research grant
"Innate pathogen sensing by local unconventional T cells during microbial infections"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Donald Fraser, Prof. David Price, Dr. Kristin Ladell, Prof. Phil Taylor, Prof. Jamie Rossjohn)
£ 660,663 (36 months)

2016-2019
Health and Care Research Wales, Clinical Research Time Award (to Dr. Matt Morgan)
Academic Supervisor
£ 66,535 (36 months)

2016
Wellcome Trust ISSF Seedcorn Award
"γδ T-cell-mediated polarisation of CD4+ T-cell responses: implications for Crohn's disease"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Bernhard Moser, Dr. Andrew Stagg, Dr. James Lindsay)
£ 34,000 (6 months)

2016
Cardiff Incoming Visiting Fellowship (to Prof. Thomas Herrmann)
Principal Applicant
£ 5,500 (3 months)

2015-2018
MRC PhD Studentship (to Amy Brook)
"Pathogen-specific microRNA signatures during acute peritoneal infection"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Donald Fraser, Dr. Timothy Bowen)
£ 60,000 (36 months)

2015-2018
MRC PhD Studentship (to Ariadni Kouzeli)
"Use of human gamma/delta T-APCs in anti-tumour immunity"
Co-applicant (Principal applicant: Prof. Bernhard Moser; co-applicant: Prof. Andrew Godkin)
£ 60,000 (36 months)

2015-2018
Tenovus PhD Studentship (to Teja Rust)
"Human gamma/delta T-APCs: Processing of tumour antigens and induction of anti-tumour immunity"
Co-applicant (Principal applicant: Prof. Bernhard Moser; co-applicant: Prof. Awen Gallimore)
£ 89,780 (36 months)

2015-2018
Health and Care Research Wales, Wales Cancer Research Centre project grant
"Preclinical models for novel immunotherapies"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Awen Gallimore, Prof. Bernhard Moser, Prof. Andrew Godkin, Dr. Ann Ager)
£ 110,000 (36 months)

2015-2020
Health and Care Research Wales
"Wales Kidney Research Unit"
Co-applicant (Principal Applicant: Prof. Donald Fraser; with co-applicants across Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Bangor)
£ 2,000,000 (60 months)

2015-2016
Kidney Research UK, Project Grant
"Rapid detection of infection and improving survival in dialysis patients: the role of unconventional T-cell driven inflammatory responses"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Prof. Bernhard Moser, Dr. Kieron Donovan, Prof. Donald Fraser)
£ 199,218 (24 months)

2014-2015
MRC-Confidence in Concept Scheme (Biomedical Catalyst)
"Point-of-care diagnosis of acute sepsis"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Prof. Paul Davis, Dr. Peter Morgan, Dr. Tamas Szakmany, Dr. Matt Morgan)
£ 44,935 (12 months)

2014
Severnside Alliance for Translational Research (SARTRE), Health Technology Challenge Project Award
"Point-of-care diagnosis of bloodstream infections"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Prof. Judith Hall, Prof. Paul Davis)
£ 24,912 (6 months)

2014
British Society for Immunology
BSI Travel Awards to Chris Tyler, Hung-Chang Chen, Matt Morgan and Matthias Eberl
gamma/delta T Cell Conference in Chicago, USA, 16-18 May 2014
£ 4,000

2013-2016
EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network, ITN 287813
"European Training and Research in Peritoneal Dialysis (EuTRiPD)"
PhD Supervisor (in collaboration with academic centres in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cardiff, Heidelberg, Madrid, Poznan, Strasbourg, Vienna; industrial partners: Zytoprotect, Baxter, Abbott; and Dutch Kidney Foundation, Kidney Research UK, EuroPD)
EU € 3,140,988 in total; € 517,568 of which to Cardiff University (48 months)

2013-2016
NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Early Stage Product Development Award
"Rapid, non-invasive tests for acute bacterial infections based on pathogen specific immune fingerprints"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Prof. Ian Weeks, Prof. Chris Butler, Dr. Eryl Cox, Prof. Paul Davis)
£ 421,961 (30 months)

2013-2014
NISCHR/Wellcome Trust ISSF Seedcorn/Feasibility Grant
"Defining pathogen-specific responses in acute infection: development of point-of-care tests for bacterial identification"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Dr. Kieron Donovan, Dr. Julian Marchesi, Dr. James Chess)
£ 49,972 (12 months)

2013
NISCHR Academic Health Science Collaboration Equipment Call
Co-applicant (lead applicant: Dr. Kieron Donovan)
£ 5,000

2013
Cancer Research UK, Cardiff CR-UK Centre Development Fund
"Overcoming the resistance of breast cancer stem cells to novel immunotherapies"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Dr. Richard Clarkson, Hung-Chang Chen)
£ 4,950 (12 months)

2012-2015
MRC PhD Studentship (to Chris Tyler)
"Control of alpha/beta T cell responses by human gamma/delta T-APCs"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
£ 60,000 (36 months)

2012
British Society for Immunology
BSI Travel Awards to Martin Davey, Joanne Welton and Chan-Yu Lin
gamma/delta T Cell Conference in Freiburg, Germany, 31 May-2 June 2012
£ 2,100

2011-2015
Tenovus PhD Studentship (to Hung-Chang Chen)
"Human gamma/delta T cells for immunotherapy of breast cancer"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Dr. Richard Clarkson)
£ 89,993 (45 months)

2010-2013
Welsh Assembly Government, Health Research Award
"Improving patient outcomes from peritoneal dialysis related infections"
Principal co-applicant (Lead applicant: Dr. Gareth Roberts; co-applicants: Prof. Nicholas Topley, Prof. Aled Phillips)
£ 207,325 (45 months)

2010
Wellcome Trust, Biomedical Vacation Scholarship (to Sarah Rollason)
"gamma/delta T cells for cancer immunotherapy"
Principal applicant
£ 1,080 (6 weeks)

2010
Cancer Research UK, Cardiff CR-UK Centre Development Fund
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Malcolm Mason, Prof. Peter Barrett-Lee)
£ 4,940 (9 months)

2010
British Society for Immunology
BSI Travel Awards to Raj Bansal, Martin Davey
gamma/delta T Cell Conference in Kiel , Germany, 19-21 May 2010
£ 1,000

2009-2013
Baxter Healthcare, Renal Discoveries Extramural Grant
"T cells, monocytes and neutrophils: detrimental crosstalk in peritoneal dialysis-related infection"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Prof. John D. Williams)
US $ 374,947 (48 months)

2009-2012
Cancer Research UK, Project Grant
"The functional plasticity of gamma/delta T cells and their exploitation in cancer therapy"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Malcolm Mason, Prof. Peter Barrett-Lee)
£ 170,067 (42 months)

2009-2010
Breast Cancer Campaign, Small Pilot Grant
"The role of TRAIL in human gamma/delta T cell-mediated cytotoxicity toward breast cancer cells"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Dr. Richard Clarkson)
£ 19,944 (12 months)

2008-2010
Welsh Assembly Government, MRC Health Research Partnership Award
"The role of T cells in peritoneal dialysis-related inflammation and infection"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Prof. Nicholas Topley)
£ 209,660 (27 months)

2007-2010
MRC Studentship (to Raj Bansal)
"B cell help provided by human gamma/delta T cells"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
£ 55,050 (36 months)

2007-2011
Research Councils UK
RCUK Fellowship in Translational Research in Experimental Medicine
£ 125,000 (60 months)

2007
Wellcome Trust, 'Value in People' Award
"Cells in bridging innate and adaptive immune responses"
Principal Applicant (co-applicant: Prof. Paul Morgan)
£ 34,786 (12 months)

Supervision

Current supervision

Miss Teja Rus

Research student

Linda Moet

Research student

Ross Burton

Research student

Past projects

PhD – Ariadni Kouzeli
"CXCL14 function and target cells in healthy tissues"
Co-supervisor (Supervisor: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
Awarded in 2020

PhD – Amy C Brook
"Local microRNAs in peritoneal dialysis-related peritonitis"
Supervisor (Co-supervisors: Prof. Donald Fraser, Dr. Tim Bowen)
Awarded in 2019

PhD – Chris J Tyler
"Control of CD4+ T cell responses by γδ T-APCs"
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
Awarded in 2016

PhD – Anna Rita Liuzzi
"Unconventional T-cell driven inflammatory responses during acute peritonitis: implications for diagnosis and therapy of peritoneal dialysis patients"
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Dr. Tim Bowen)
Awarded in 2015

PhD – Hung-Chang Chen
"Human γδ T cell-based immune therapy for breast cancer"
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Dr. Richard Clarkson)
Awarded in 2015

PhD – Matt P Morgan
"Immune fingerprinting in acute severe sepsis"
Co-supervisor (Supervisor: Prof. Judith Hall)
Awarded in 2014

PhD – Luke Piggott
"Investigating the therapeutic potential of cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein and TRAIL in preclinical models of breast cancer"
Co-supervisor (Supervisor: Dr. Richard Clarkson)
Awarded in 2012

PhD – Chan-Yu Lin
"The role of γδ T cells in peritoneal dialysis-associated bacterial infection"
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Prof. Nicholas Topley)
Awarded in 2012

PhD – Martin S Davey
"Cellular crosstalk of human Vγ9/Vδ2 T cells, neutrophils and monocytes in response to bacterial infections"      
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
Awarded in 2012

PhD – Raj R Bansal
"B cell help provided by human γδ T cells"
Supervisor (Co-supervisor: Prof. Bernhard Moser)
Awarded in 2012

Engagement

I am passionate about engaging and involving the public in research and disseminate relevant findings to specialist and lay audiences.

As Engagement Lead for the Systems Immunity Research Institute since 2015 and Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement for the School of Medicine at Cardiff University since 2020, I conceive, oversee and coordinate a wide range of engagement and involvement activities, and aim to reach out to all stake-holders in our research - patients, health care providers, schools, policy makers, media, funders, industry and the general public.

I established and chair a Lay Faculty for the Systems Immunity Research Institute consisting of members of the public who provide valuable feedback on research proposals, study protocols, consent forms, news items and press releases, and help foster a close dialogue between local scientists and the wider public. This Lay Faculty has developed into a flagship involvement activity at Cardiff University and has received very positive feedback from Health and Care Research Wales and the Wellcome Trust.

In addition to facilitating and promoting a wide range of smaller and larger engagement events by colleagues across the Systems Immunity Research Institute and the School of Medicine, over the past years I directly developed and contributed to activities such as

  • Showcasing Cardiff research twice at Techniquest, the local Science museum in Cardiff
  • An interactive pop-up science shop on 'Superbugs' taking place over two full weeks in a repurposed retail unit in the St David's Dewi Sant shopping centre in Cardiff, the busiest in Wales and 12th largest in the UK.
  • Promoting the importance of international research and collaboration for Cardiff University, Wales and the UK at receptions in the National Assembly for Wales and the House of Commons
  • Hosting the MP for Cardiff Central, Jo Stevens, at the Annual Infection & Immunity Meeting 2017 and during our 'Superbugs' event in 2019
  • Supporting campaigns by organisations such as #WeAreInternational, @the3million and Scientists4EU to raise awareness for international students, EU citizens' rights and EU funding and their relevance for UK research, education and innovation
  • Creating educational computer games for primary schools
  • Co-developing a Welsh-medium philosophy/immunology workshop for primary school children
  • Establishing contacts with Radio Glamorgan, the local hospital radio station
  • Running a Cardiff-wide bus stop poster campaign to promote local research
  • Celebrating diversity and equality across Infection & Immunity, the School of Medicine and Cardiff University as a whole
  • Setting up a dedicated TikTok channel for COVID-19 related topics
  • Collaborating with BBC Wales on a programme about sepsis involving BBC weatherman Derek Brockway, and on sourcing laboratory equipment and props for the BBC Dr Who Christmas Special 2014

As Web Editor of the Systems Immunity URI (and its predecessors, the i3-IRG and the Institute of Infection & Immunity, since 2009), I have substantially improved the visibility of local research, teaching, innovation and engagement, accompanied by successful social media accounts (>2,100 Twitter followers). I also created an interactive ‘γδ T cell Forum’, which has >1,100 followers from >50 countries and has developed into a key networking resource in the field.

Through my participation in the core activities of the British Society for Immunology (BSI), the largest immunological society in Europe, I directly promote immunology-related research, public engagement and education in Wales, the UK and beyond. I was elected as BSI Trustee in 2017, after serving two terms as Regional Representative for Wales on the BSI Forum (2010-2016), the Society’s ‘think tank’. As one of 14 Trustees, I am directly responsible for the effective operation of the Society, with regard to finance, governance, strategy and supervision of its CEO. As Chairman of the BSI South Wales regional group (2007-2015), I established Cardiff as one of the most active and visible regional groups in the UK, increased its annual budget eight-fold, and created the prestigious annual Jonathan Boulter Memorial Lecture given by the leading immunologists in the world.

Grant support:

2020-2021
Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Public Engagement Co-production Award.
"Superbugs 2: Digital Dissemination!"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Jonathan Tyrrell; with Sarah Hatch, Christie Conlon, Mike Roberts)
£ 12,357

2019-2020
Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Public Engagement Proof-of-Concept Award.
"Science Stitches – communicating science through fashion"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Andreia de Almeida; with Ruth Potts, Emma Yhnell, Rachel Stanton, Riccardo Bonsignore, Zoe Hudson, Julia Harris, Sarah Valentin)
£ 7,198

2019
Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Public Engagement Proof-of-Concept Award
"A Pop-up Science Shop!"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Jonathan Tyrrell; with Sarah Hatch, Ali Aboklaish)
£ 7,440

2018
Systems Immunity Research Institute Engagement Grant
"Superbugs - The End of Modern Medicine As We Know It?"
Lead applicant (with Micalea Gal, Sarah Hatch)
£ 2,160

2018
Systems Immunity Research Institute Engagement Grant
"Project Sepsis – Sepsis Patient Public Engagement Centre"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Widad Dantoft; with Rhian Thomas-Turner, Peter Ghazal, Valerie O’Donnell)
£ 1,890

2017
Systems Immunity Research Institute Engagement Grant
"Learning by playing: developing immunology-based computer games"
Lead applicant (with Mike Reddy, Philip Taylor, Simone Cuff)
£ 1,998

2016
Systems Immunity Research Institute Engagement Grant
"What am I? Who am I?"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Awen Gallimore; with Lewis Evans)
£ 600

2016
Systems Immunity Research Institute Engagement Grant
"It’s not rocket science!"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: David Cole; with Ellyn Hughes)
£ 3,152