The Infection, Immunopathology and Immunotherapeutics (III) theme brings together high calibre investigators to address the healthcare burden resulting from the unremitting threat of infectious diseases and the increasing prevalence of serious progressive musculoskeletal, liver, lung and gastrointestinal conditions associated with inflammatory/fibrotic and immune-mediated diseases.

UCLH serves a diverse population (by health, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and age) of 6 million patients in Greater London, approximately 10% of the UK population. Our patients are under threat of infection from at least three areas: 1) increasing antimicrobial resistance 2) imported/emerging pathogens and 3) opportunistic infections secondary to inherited or acquired immunodeficiency. Immunopathology is the common mechanistic pathway, not only in infectious diseases, but also in non-communicable diseases arising from dysregulated inflammation and autoimmunity, for which we provide world-leading tertiary referral services spanning inherited immunodeficiencies, autoimmune disease, hyperinflammation, fibrosis, renal, liver and stem-cell transplantation. 

We aim to improve the outcomes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases for patients by translating our mechanistic and applied research expertise into new approaches for diagnostics, patient stratification, and new immunomodulatory therapies.  

Our theme activity centres around three sub themes:

  1. Infection: We know that early diagnosis of infection reduces morbidity, mortality, treatment failure arising from antimicrobial resistance and onward transmission of infection. There are also substantial different outcomes following infection ranging from asymptomatic carriage (no signs of illness) to critical illness. These differences make it necessary to have better patient stratification and risk assessment to enable personalised management and better patient outcomes.
  2. Immunopathology: We aim to better understand shared pathogenic mechanisms driving autoimmunity, hyperinflammation and fibrosis. We will focus on major health challenges including chronic lung and liver diseases, the inflammatory arthropathies and type 1 diabetes, for which, we will develop and evaluate novel diagnostics and risk stratification biomarkers (including imaging), to define specific cohorts of patients with immune-mediated diseases. 
  3. Immunotherapeutics: We will build on discovery science at UCL by  progressing gene therapies for patients born with errors in their immune system. We will use novel combinations of immunomodulatory drugs for autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus. We will evaluate biological therapies for the treatment of active tuberculosis alongside antimicrobials. We will identify novel treatment targets for fibrotic diseases of any organ.  

The III theme benefits from vital interfaces with core UCL and UCLH infrastructure, including the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation; Royal Free Hospital; and the Centre for Cell and Gene and Tissue Therapy. 

Key partners for the III programme include: 

Royal Free Hospital 

The Royal Free Campus is one UCL Medical School’s main teaching and research sites. Research activity at the Royal Free falling within the III Programme include: 

The UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation  

The Institute of Immunity and Transplantation is an experimental medicine partnership bringing together world-leading research and clinical trials in the newly opened (2021) Pears Building, a multi-million pound, state of the art research centre at the Royal Free Hospital. 

Using state of the art experimental platforms in transplantation and tissue engineering, vaccination, cell and gene therapy, the Institute focusses on delivery of novel treatments for cancer, chronic infection, autoimmunity and inherited diseases. 

UCLH Hospital for Tropical Diseases 

UK Imported Fever Service and Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory 

BioAID Consortium 

Francis Crick Institute 

Great Ormond Street Hospital 

Translational Research Collaborations  

Investigators from the III theme are partners in two of the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) Translational Research Collaborations: Musculoskeletal, Centre Academic Lead (CAL) Professor Mike Ehrenstein; and Respiratory , CAL Professor Joanna Porter. Dr Sarah Watters is the Centre Business Lead for both partnerships.

Professor Emma Morris
Inflammation, Immunity & Immunotherapeutics Theme Director
0207 794 0500 ext 22475
Louise English
Operations Manager, Critical and Peri-operative Care, Infection, Immunopathology and Immunotherapeutics and Multimorbidity and Inclusion Health