Research course

Immunology, Infection and Inflammatory Disease (IIID)

King's College London · Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master's of Science degree with Merit or above.

Months of entry

January, April, July, October

Course content

Our Division uses a range of techniques from molecular genetics and biochemistry to clinical trial design to better understand the dynamic interplay between host defence mechanisms and viral and microbial determinants. These studies have exposed novel determinants of host protection against HIV-AIDS virus, and revealed how the virus depends upon key components of cell biology such as those that direct cell division. We examine what fails when host defence mechanisms mistakenly target uninfected tissues, causing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Type I Diabetes, and ask how such mechanisms respond to tumours.

One major focus is on a refined understanding of the function and turnover of monocytes; another on the characterization of a novel lymphoid stress-surveillance response; a third on the recognition of microbial infection; and a fourth on the nature of T cell dysregulation that underpins MHC-restricted autoimmune diseases. We actively consider practical approaches to enhancing host responses to pathogens and to limiting autoimmunity, and we contribute to clinical trials novel approaches to measuring disease course and treatment outcome.

Major research programmes include:

The study of lymphoid stress-surveillance in tumour rejection and in graft rejection; the mechanisms of action of human regulatory T cells; T cell development in the thymus; Factors that regulate the threshold for lymphocyte responses; Monocyte and dendritic cell function and development; The maturation of B cell responses in tissues; Approaches to immunotherapy; RNA trafficking and metabolism and its roles as in host defense and HIV pathogenesis; Viral budding mechanisms; Innate, cell-autonomous anti-viral responses and pattern recognition; Antigen non-specific activation of innate immunity; Leukocyte trafficking; B cell and T cell responses that operate at the body's surfaces; Vaccine and adjuvant design for both immunoprotection (infection/tumours); Immunosuppression (autoimmune disease); Hospital acquired infections and multi-centre clinical trialsViral vectors and genetic therapies.

We actively contribute to the Biomedical Research Centre of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trusts, in which regard research into practical cell therapy programmes have just commenced.

We also have links with large and small pharmaceutical and biotech activities, via sponsored research agreements with Genentech, NovoNordisk, GSK, and ImmuoQure.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48-72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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