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Matthias Eberl

Professor Matthias Eberl

Professor of Translational Immunology, Division of Infection and Immunity. Joint Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement, School of Medicine.

School of Medicine

Email
EberlM@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 29206 87011
Campuses
Henry Wellcome Building for Biomedical Research, Room 3F08, 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 in Giessen 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 in York, and investigated the cellular and humoral immune response to schistosomes upon infection and vaccination.

My research since 2000 in Giessen, Bern and Cardiff 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 combine 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 stress surveillance and barrier protection.

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'), using flow cytometry, multiplex ELISA techniques and mathematical approaches.

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, data scientists, clinicians and commercial partners.

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

Publication

2024

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2007

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2005

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2001

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1999

Articles

Websites

Research

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.  For this, we are studying individuals presenting with acute conditions such as peritonitis, severe sepsis, urinary tract infection and ventriculitis, in collaborations with clinicians, microbiologists, statisticians, computer scientists and commercial partners.


Present and past group members

  • Kirsty Emery, PhD Student 2023–
  • Daniel Griffiths, PhD Student 2023–
  • Kate Davies, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2022–
  • Jack Leyton, Technician 2024–
  • N.N., Clinical Fellow 2024–
  • Raya Ahmed, Postdoc 2016-2019
  • Sarah Baker, Research Assistant 2018-2021
  • Josephine Banda, MSc Student (co-supervisor) 2023
  • Raj Bansal, PhD Student 2007-2012
  • Amy Brook, PhD Student 2015-2019
  • Ross Burton, PhD Student 2018-2022
  • Hung-Chang Chen, PhD Student 2011-2016
  • Chantal Colmont, Research Assistant 2013-2014
  • Simone Cuff, Postdoc 2017-2022
  • Martin Davey, PhD Student/Postdoc 2008-2013
  • Ida Jackson (Friberg), Postdoc 2013-2015
  • Emily Jacob, MPhil Student (co-supervisor) 2020-2022
  • Maximilian Keisker, Erasmus Student 2017
  • Ariadni Kouzeli, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2015-2020
  • Ann Kift-Morgan, Research Assistant 2011-2018
  • Chan-Yu Lin, PhD Student 2009-2012
  • Anna Rita Liuzzi, PhD student/Postdoc 2013-2016
  • Christophe Macri, Internship Student 2009
  • Salvador Martí Pérez, Postdoc 2009-2010
  • Oliwia Michalak, PhD Student 2018-2020
  • Linda Moet, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2018-2022
  • Matt Morgan, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2011-2014
  • Luke Piggott, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2009-2012
  • Loic Raffray, EU Marie Curie Fellow 2017-2018
  • Nicola Reeves, MD Student (co-supervisor) 2019-2021
  • Teja Rus, PhD Student (co-supervisor) 2015-2020
  • Michele Scotto di Mase, Internship Student 2015
  • Yasmin Shanneik, Erasmus Student 2014-2015
  • Lucy Sheikh, MSc Student (co-supervisor) 2023
  • Katie Stanswood, MSc Student (co-supervisor) 2022
  • Chris Tyler, PhD Student 2012-2016
  • Joanne Welton, Postdoc 2011-2013
  • Jingjing Zhang, Postdoc 2015-2016


Grant support

2023-2025
Health and Care Research Wales, Health Research Grant
"Early detection of anastomotic leak after colorectal surgery" (24 months)
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Prof. Jared Torkington, Dr. Nicola Reeves, Dr. Natalie Joseph-Williams, Dr. Rachel Morris, Dr. Susan Campbell)
ca. £ 145,684 (24 months)

2023-2027
GW4 MRC DTP PhD Studentship (to Kirsty Emery)
"Control of mucosal immunity and intestinal integrity by human γδ T cells" (48 months)
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Dr. Neil McCarthy, Dr. Gareth Jones)
ca. £ 100,000 (48 months)

2023-2026
Cardiff University Cancer Research Hub PhD Studentship (to Daniel Griffiths)
"Novel tools for analysis of high-dimensional cytometry data – implications for cancer immunology and immunotherapy"
Principal Applicant (co-applicants: Dr. Andreas Artemiou, Prof. Awen Gallimore)
£ 81,728 (36 months)

2022-2026
GW4 MRC DTP PhD Studentship (to Kate Davies)
"Suppression of T cell immunity and antibody production during virus infection and sepsis"
Co-applicant (Principal applicant: Dr. James McLaren; co-applicant: Dr. Gareth Jones)
ca. £ 100,000 (48 months)

2022
Welsh Government Sprint Programme
"Artificial intelligence-guided diagnosis and prognosis of post-operative sepsis"
Principal Applicant
£ 31,781

2021-2022
Health and Care Research Wales, Health Research Grant
"The epidemiology and impact of bacterial secondary infections and antimicrobial resistance on Intensive Care during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic"
Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Dr. Lim Jones; with Dr. Mandy Wootton, Dr. James McLaren, Prof. Thomas Connor, Dr. Matt Morgan, Dr. Matt Wise, Dr. Harriet Hughes, Dr. Brendan Healey, Dr. Brad Spiller)
£ 74,000 (12 months)

2021
Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership Award (ITPA)
"Precision medicine-based diagnosis and prognosis of post-operative sepsis"
Principal Applicant (with Prof. Jared Torkington, Dr. Nicola Reeves, Dr. Matt Morgan, Dr. Andreas Artemiou, Dr. Simone Cuff, Ross Burton)
£19,969 (4 months)

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. £ 80,000 (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)

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 contribute to effective small group teaching within the Year 2 SSC module “Interactive Immunology” every year and for Year 1 SSC literature reviews, 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. I am also involved in the MSc "Applied and Experimental Clinial Immunology", and since 2010 have been acting as Personal Tutor/Academic Mentor for medic undergraduates.

I have trained and mentored undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory, including work experience and summer students, and 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 eleven and co-supervised a further five PhD students, all of whom completed, or are on course to complete, their PhD within four years.

I have served on the annual appraisal panels for >50 PhD and MD students since 2014, 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.

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

  • 2022: Microbiology Outreach Prize, Microbiology Society (to Dr Jon Tyrrell on behalf of the 'Superbugs' team)
  • 2021: Poster Prize "Education & Public Engagement", British Society for Immunology (on behalf of the 'Superbugs' team)
  • 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

    Professional memberships

    • British Society for Immunology (BSI):
      Public Engagement Secretary, since Jan 2023;
      Board of Trustees, 2017-2023;
      Regional Representative for Wales, BSI Forum, 2009-2016;
      Chairman of the South Wales Immunology Group, 2007-2015;
      Full member since 1998

    Committees and reviewing

    Leadership roles

    • since 2020: Joint Academic Lead for Public Involvement and Engagement, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
    • since 2015: Engagement Lead, Systems Immunity Research Institute, Cardiff University
    • since 2014: Chair of PhD Appraisal Panels, Infection & Immunity, Cardiff University
    • since 2011: Founder and Administrator, γδ T Cell Forum
    • since 2009: Web Editor, Infection & Immunity, Cardiff University

    PhD examiner

    • Cardiff University
    • King's College London
    • Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
    • 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)
    • European Science Foundation (ESF)
    • 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
    • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), 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
    • Cell Reports
    • Cellular Immunology
    • Chronobiology International
    • Clinical Cancer Research
    • Clinical and Developmental Immunology
    • Clinical and Experimental Immunology
    • Clinical and Experimental Medicine
    • Communications Biology
    • Current Cancer Drug Targets
    • Current Immunology Reviews
    • Cytokine
    • Discovery Immunology
    • EBioMedicine
    • 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
    • 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

    Supervisions

    • Unconventional T cells in health and disease

    Current supervision

    Kirsty Emery

    Kirsty Emery

    Research student

    Dan Griffiths

    Dan Griffiths

    Research student

    Kate Davies

    Kate Davies

    Research student

    Past projects

    PhD students

    Linda Moet (PhD 2023):
    “Elucidating an immune metabolite pathway in sepsis”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Peter Ghazal, with Valerie O'Donnell)

    Ross Burton (PhD 2023):
    “Identifying immunological biomarkers of sepsis using cytometry bioinformatics and machine learning”
    (Main supervisor; with Andreas Artemiou, Peter Ghazal, Matt Morgan)

    Teja Rus (PhD 2021):
    “Generation of experimental tools for studying tumour antigen processing by Human γδ T-APCs: Processing of tumour antigens and induction of anti-tumour immunity”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Berhard Moser)

    Ariadni Kouzeli (PhD 2020):
    “CXCL14 function and target cells in healthy tissues”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Berhard Moser)

    Amy Brook (PhD 2019):
    “Local microRNAs in peritoneal dialysis patients with acute peritonitis”
    (Main supervisor; with Donald Fraser, Tim Bowen)

    Chris Tyler (PhD 2016):
    “Control of CD4+ T cell responses by γδ T-APCs”
    (Main supervisor; with Berhard Moser)

    Anna Rita Liuzzi (PhD 2015):
    “Unconventional T-cell driven inflammatory responses during acute peritonitis: implications for diagnosis and therapy of peritoneal dialysis patients”
    (Main supervisor; with Tim Bowen)

    Hung-Chang Chen (PhD 2015):
    “Human γδ T cell-based immunotherapy for breast cancer”
    (Main supervisor; with Richard Clarkson)

    Matt Morgan (PhD 2014):
    “Immune fingerprinting in acute severe sepsis”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Judith Hall)

    Luke Piggott PhD 2012):
    “Investigating the therapeutic potential of cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein and TRAIL in preclinical models of breast cancer”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Richard Clarkson)

    Chan-Yu Lin (PhD 2012):
    “The role of γδ T cells in peritoneal dialysis-associated bacterial infection”
    (Main supervisor; with Nick Topley)

    Martin Davey (PhD 2012):
    “Cellular crosstalk of human Vγ9/Vδ2 T cells, neutrophils and monocytes in response to bacterial infections”
    (Main supervisor; with Berhard Moser)

    Raj Bansal (PhD 2012):
    “B cell help provided by human γδ T cells”
    (Main supervisor; with Berhard Moser)

     

    MD and MPhil students

    Emily Jacob (MPhil 2022):
    “Immune fingerprinting of bacterial infections in decompensated cirrhosis”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Thomas Pembroke)

    Nicola Reeves (MD 2021):
    “The impact of standardising intra-operative variables on the incidence of surgical site infections in colorectal surgery in Wales ”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Jared Torkington, with Ian Weeks)

     

    MSc students

    Josephine Banda (MSc 2023):
    “Exploring the immunomodulatory landscape in asymptomatic P. falciparum infection”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Ian Humphreys)

    Lucy Sheikh (MSc 2023):
    “Immunophenotyping dysfunctional antimicrobial T cells during sepsis”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor James McLaren)

    Haritha Ayanikkad (MSc 2023):
    “A study on public engagement to enhance wareness on food hygiene and microbial literacy in school children”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Jon Tyrrell)

    Vasudev Gopakumar (MSc 2023):
    “Public engagement in hygiene and microbiology among young children through successful interventions”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Jon Tyrrell)

    Chiamaka Nnamdi (MSc 2023):
    “Creating awareness of antimicrobial resistance to children aged 7 to 14 using Staphylococcus aureus as a case study”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Jon Tyrrell)

    Rachel Oyebode (MSc 2023):
    “Creating awareness of antimicrobial resistance in children using Staphylococcus aureus as a case study”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor Jon Tyrrell)

    Katherine Stanswood (MSc 2022):
    “Immunophenotyping mechanisms of T cell dysfunction during the onset of sepsis”
    (Co-supervisor; main supervisor James McLaren)

    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 (jointly with Dr Natalie Joseph-Williams), I conceive, oversee and coordinate a wide range of public 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 work closely with the School of Medicine Engagement Manager Sarah Hatch, the Lead Public Partner Dr Jim Fitzgibbon and the newly appointed MEDIC Champions from across the School of Medicine. Together we have developed a 5-year Action Plan and Infographic to help us embed a culture of public engagement and involvement in all research and teaching activities at the School of Medicine, aligned with the UK Standards for Public Involvement and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    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 a model for similar approaches elsewhere.

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

    • An interactive educational resource ('Superbugs') for key stage 2/3 school children (years 3-9), co-produced with teachers from primary and secondary schools and made available in English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic
    • An interactive pop-up science shop in a repurposed retail unit in the St David's Dewi Sant shopping centre in Cardiff, one of the busiest in the UK, attracting >6,600 visitors
    • Participation in science festivals, including the Cardiff Science Festival 2020, Merthyr Tydfil Science Festival 2021 (virtual) and the Zaporizhzhia 'Night of Science' 2022 (virtual, in English and Ukrainian)
    • Showcasing Cardiff research on several occasions at Techniquest, the local Science museum in Cardiff
    • 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' pop-up science shop 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 'Superbugs' TikTok channel for infection, antimicrobial resistance, COVID-19 and related topics
    • Collaborating with BBC Wales on a programme about sepsis involving BBC weatherman Derek Brockway, a 1 hour long documentary on "The Truth About... Boosting Your Immune System", 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 predecessor, the i3-IRG, over the past >12 years, I have substantially improved the visibility of local research, teaching, innovation and engagement, accompanied by successful social media accounts (>2,600 Twitter followers). I also created an interactive ‘γδ T cell Forum’, which has >3,000 followers from >50 countries and has developed into a key networking resource in the field of unconventional T cells.

    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 was directly responsible for the effective operation of the Society, with regard to finance, governance, strategy and supervision of its CEO. As of January 2023, I serve as Public Engagement Secretary and member of the BSI Forum. 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 for public engagement and involvement work:

    2023
    Microbiology Society, Education and Outreach Grant.
    "Learning together about infection and hygiene – A Superbugs collaboration in Tanzania"
    Co-applicant (Lead applicant: Jonathan Tyrrell; with Sarah Hatch, Michael Mosha, Erick Venant, Oliva Minja)
    £ 996

    2023
    An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG).
    Teaching and learning resource funding scheme 2023
    Lead applicant (with Jonathan Tyrrell, Sarah Hatch, Jack Ó Drisceoil, Margaret Dunne, Máire Nic Eachmharcaigh)
    € 8,588

    2021-2023
    British Society for Immunoloy, Communicating Immunology grant.
    "Superbugs – An educational resource for school children in the UK and Ireland"
    Lead applicant (with Jonathan Tyrrell, Sarah Hatch, Jenny Mannion, Elaine Nic Réamoinn)
    £ 1,000

    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