Our research areas

Lead: Dr Gary McLean

Antibodies, vaccine development and extracellular vesicles.

Studies aim to establish correlates of protection for viral diseases, the role of antibodies in viral neutralisation and strategies to design better vaccines.

We are characterising and producing recombinant human antibodies to the AD-2 epitope of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and determining the specifics of human IgG and IgA in protective immune responses. These could find utility as biotherapeutics for HCMV infections.

We are developing a novel subunit vaccine for rhinoviruses (RVs) and characterising antibody and T cell responses that are broadly cross-reactive. Recent studies have identified novel antigenic determinants of the rhinovirus capsid and we will produce and further characterise monoclonal antibodies to these epitopes.

Our studies continue in the area of host microvesicles (MVs) and rhinovirus (RV) infection and aim to characterise the kinetics, structure and contents of MVs released from cells following RV infection and to determine their role in virus spread. This is a novel and untested hypothesis for the non-enveloped RV, although previous research has identified a role for MVs in the infection of cells by the related non-enveloped virus coxsackie type B and important human enveloped viruses including hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus, Epstein-Barr virus and human cytomegalovirus.

The role of intracellular antibody virus neutralisation via the molecule TRIM21. New studies that address a novel mechanism of antibody neutralisation and applicability to RV neutralisation.

Lead: Professor Chris Palmer

Our projects include:

  • Inhibition of microvesiculation to limit drug efflux in prostate cancer. This is coupled to another project on using microvesicles (including those derived from stem cells) as targeted drug delivery vehicles in cancer research.
  • Use of prostate cancer-targeted microvesicles delivering both chemotherapeutic drug and inhibiting subsequent microvesiclation.
  • The role of microvesicles in EMT transdifferentiation in prostate cancer.
  • HPV/EBV and microvesicles in prostate cancer.
  • Microvesicles and complement inhibiting peptides that break tolerance by inhibiting iC3b-CR3 interaction, thus allowing maturation of dendritic cells; Novel immunotherapeutic approaches in prostate cancer therapy.
  • Transdifferentiation and dedifferentiation in monocytic leukaemia.

Lead: Dr Eirini Meimaridou

This theme aims to elucidate the pathogenesis of human diseases at the molecular and cellular level. It explores the biological pathways or technologies that contribute to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases.

Dr Eirini Meimaridou research interests lie in the endocrine function of the adrenal gland. Dr Meimaridou has previously shown that disturbances in redox homeostasis in the adrenal tissue lead to adrenal insufficient diseases like Familial Glucocorticoid Deficinecy (FGD) [Meimaridou et al, J Endocrinol 2018; Meimaridou et al., Nature 2012].

Redox homeostasis plays an important role in the cellular processes of an organism and is responsible for the balance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defense system. Changing the balance of these molecules in the adrenal tissue impacts on the adrenal function leading to adrenal insufficient diseases. Adrenal glands are small endocrine glands located at the top of the kidneys. Despite their small size, the functions they exert are enormous and essential for life. They secrete hormones that control blood sugar, electrolyte balance, and are important for stress response, metabolism and immune suppression. Therefore changes in the structure and function of the adrenal tissue can have detrimental effects on inflammatory, cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome diseases and cancer. Dr Meimaridou’s research aim is to establish the response of the adrenal gland under oxidative stress on inflammation and metabolism.

More about the Cellular Molecular and Immunology Research Centre

Events and seminars at the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre