Microscope slide showing healthy human colon

The body’s mucosal tissues, especially the lungs and intestines, have a vast surface area and provide the most important sites for our interactions with the environment. They are exposed to a multitude of microbes and are home to the majority of our immune cells. To enable optimal function of these vital organs, the mucosal immune system must protect us from pathogens, while tolerating commensal organisms, food proteins and benign antigens.

Immunologists in the Mucosal Immunology theme are engaged in cutting-edge basic and translational science, aimed at understanding the molecular and cellular processes that control immune responses in mucosal tissues. These studies range from investigations of interactions with bacterial pathogens and commensal organisms, through studying how specific cytokines control immune responses to parasite infections, to studies aimed directly at identifying novel therapies for human inflammatory disease.

We work closely together with the other themes within the Centre for Immunobiology, and also with our clinical colleagues, to utilise our excellent flow cytometry, microscopy and multi-omics facilities, to better understand the mucosal immune system to improve human health.


Prof Paul Garside | Chair in Basic Immunology

I study fundmental aspects of immune tolerance and priming and translate findings into the contexts of infectious and autoimmune disease.

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Professor Paul Garside

Dr Megan MacLeod | Senior Lecturer (Immunology)

My expertise is in immunological memory - understanding how past infections and inflammatory events shape our future immune responses. We want to know how memory immune cells function, how they influence the environments in which they live, and how these environments feedback on the memory cells. We aim for the new knowledge we learn to open up avenues to improve the functions of immune memory cells by vaccination and to inhibit these cells when they are root cause of disease, for example in autoimmunity.

‌‌A head and shoulders profile shot of Dr Megan MacLeod

Professor Rick Maizels | Professor (Parasitology)

The Maizels Lab studies how parasites manipulate the immune system through secreted immunomodulators, and how those modulators might offer novel anti-inflammatory therapies.

‌‌A head and shoulders profile shot of Professor Rick Maizels in the lab

Prof Kevin Maloy | Professor Mucosal Immunology

I’m a mucosal immunologist, studying immune responses in the intestinal tract and their impact on protective immunity and harmful inflammation.

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Kevin Maloy

Prof Simon Milling | Deputy Head of Immunology

My lab focusses on the immunology of the intestine. We study cellular and mechanisms by which macrophages and dendritic cells control intestinal immune responses. We translate these insights in studies of human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and alopecia areata.

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Professor Simon Milling

Dr Georgia Perona-Wright | Senior Lecturer (Immunology)

Understanding infection immunology, at the infection site. Interested in immune balance, cytokines, metabolic regulation, and co-infection

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Dr Georgia Perona-Wright

Dr Miguel Pineda | ARUK Research Fellow (Immunology)

Glycans - sugars - are the dominant molecules on cell surfaces, and glycan remodeling affects cell-cell interactions, migration, adhesion or receptor binding, all of them core mechanisms underpinning immune responses. Tissue glycosylation changes in response to inflammation, diet or infection. Therefore, could changes in gut glycosylation modulate gut immunology? My goal is to describe the function of glycosylation in gut immunology, both in healthy and inflammatory conditions. 

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Miguel Pineda in the office

Prof Stefan Siebert | Inflammation Medicine & Rheumatology

I have clinical and academic interests in the interactions of mucosal immunology and inflammatory arthritis, particularly in axial spondyloarthritis where these are closely related.

‌‌A head and shoulders shot of Stefan Siebert