Andrew N J McKenzie

Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Seattle, Washington, United States

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Publications (155)1359.82 Total impact

  • Journal of Experimental Medicine 06/2015; 212(6). DOI:10.1084/jem.20142224 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a growing family of immune cells that mirror the phenotypes and functions of T cells. However, in contrast to T cells, ILCs do not express acquired antigen receptors or undergo clonal selection and expansion when stimulated. Instead, ILCs react promptly to signals from infected or injured tissues and produce an array of secreted proteins termed cytokines that direct the developing immune response into one that is adapted to the original insult. The complex cross-talk between microenvironment, ILCs, and adaptive immunity remains to be fully deciphered. Only by understanding these complex regulatory networks can the power of ILCs be controlled or unleashed in order to regulate or enhance immune responses in disease prevention and therapy. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Science 05/2015; 348(6237):aaa6566. DOI:10.1126/science.aaa6566 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) direct CD4(+) T-cell differentiation into diverse helper (Th) subsets that are required for protection against varied infections. However, the mechanisms used by DCs to promote Th2 responses, which are important both for immunity to helminth infection and in allergic disease, are currently poorly understood. We demonstrate a key role for the protein methyl-CpG-binding domain-2 (Mbd2), which links DNA methylation to repressive chromatin structure, in regulating expression of a range of genes that are associated with optimal DC activation and function. In the absence of Mbd2, DCs display reduced phenotypic activation and a markedly impaired capacity to initiate Th2 immunity against helminths or allergens. These data identify an epigenetic mechanism that is central to the activation of CD4(+) T-cell responses by DCs, particularly in Th2 settings, and reveal methyl-CpG-binding proteins and the genes under their control as possible therapeutic targets for type-2 inflammation.
    Nature Communications 04/2015; 6:6920. DOI:10.1038/ncomms7920 · 10.74 Impact Factor
  • A W Y Lim, A N J McKenzie
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    ABSTRACT: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are increasingly recognised as an innate immune counterpart of adaptive T-helper (TH) cells. In addition to their similar effector cytokine production, there is a strong parallel between the transcription factors that control the differentiation of TH1, TH2 and TH17 cells and ILC groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Here, we review the transcriptional circuit that specifies the development of a common ILC progenitor and its subsequent programming into distinct ILC groups. Notch, GATA-3 (GATA-binding protein 3), Nfil3 (nuclear factor interleukin-3) and Id2 (inhibitor of DNA-binding 2) are identified as early factors that suppress B- and T-cell potentials and are turned on in favour of ILC commitment. Natural killer cells, which are the cytotoxic ILCs, develop along a pathway distinct from the rest of the helper-like ILCs that are derived from a common progenitor to all helper-like ILCs (CHILPs). PLZF(-) (promyelocytic leukaemia zinc-finger) CHILPs give rise to lymphoid tissue inducer cells, while PLZF(+) CHILPs have multilineage potential and could give rise to ILCs 1, 2 and 3. Such lineage specificity is dictated by the controlled expression of T-bet (T-box expressed in T cells), RORα (retinoic acid receptor-related orphan nuclear receptor-α), RORγt (retinoic acid receptor-related orphan nuclear receptor-γt) and AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor). In addition to the type of transcription factors, the developmental stages at which these factors are expressed are crucial in specifying the fate of the ILCs.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 22 January 2015; doi:10.1038/gene.2014.83.
    Genes and Immunity 01/2015; 16(3). DOI:10.1038/gene.2014.83 · 3.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As previous studies suggested that IL-9 may control intestinal barrier function, we tested the role of IL-9 in experimental T cell-mediated colitis induced by the hapten reagent 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). The deficiency of IL-9 suppressed TNBS-induced colitis and led to lower numbers of PU.1 expressing T cells in the lamia propria, suggesting a regulatory role for Th9 cells in the experimental TNBS colitis model. Since IL-9 is known to functionally alter intestinal barrier function in colonic inflammation, we assessed the expression of tight junction molecules in intestinal epithelial cells of TNBS-inflamed mice. Therefore we made real-time PCR analyses for tight junction molecules in the inflamed colon from wild-type and IL-9 KO mice, immunofluorescent stainings and investigated the expression of junctional proteins directly in intestinal epithelial cells of TNBS-inflamed mice by Western blot studies. The results demonstrated that sealing proteins like occludin were up regulated in the colon of inflamed IL-9 KO mice. In contrast, the tight junction protein Claudin1 showed lower expression levels when IL-9 is absent. Surprisingly, the pore-forming molecule Claudin2 revealed equal expression in TNBS-treated wild-type and IL-9-deficient animals. These results illustrate the pleiotropic functions of IL-9 in changing intestinal permeability in experimental colitis. Thus, modulation of IL-9 function emerges as a new approach for regulating barrier function in intestinal inflammation.
    01/2015; 3(1-2):e983777. DOI:10.4161/21688370.2014.983777
  • Andrew N J McKenzie
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    ABSTRACT: Type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) belong to an expanding family of innate lymphocytes that provide a potent source of immune effector cytokines at the initiation of immune responses. ILC2 arise, under the control of the transcription factors RORα and GATA3, from lymphoid progenitors in the bone marrow, to secrete type-2 cytokines including IL-5 and IL-13. Using experimental models, ILC2 have been implicated in allergic diseases, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis, but also in metabolic homeostasis. Furthermore, recent reports have indicated that ILC2 not only play roles at the initiation of type-2 immunity but can also contribute to chronic pathology, such as fibrosis, and can impact on the priming of the adaptive T-cell response. The identification of ILC2 in patients with allergic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis indicates that these cells may represent new therapeutic targets.
    12/2014; 11(Supplement 5):S263-S270. DOI:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201403-097AW
  • Immunology 12/2014; 143:166-166. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human tuberculosis (TB) is a leading global health threat and still constitutes a major medical challenge. However, mechanisms governing tissue pathology during post-primary TB remain elusive, partly because genetically or immunologically tractable animal models are lacking. In human TB, the demonstration of a large relative increase in interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 expression that correlates with lung damage, indicates that a subversive T helper (TH)2 component in the response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) may undermine protective immunity and contribute to reactivation and tissue pathology. Up to now, there is no clear evidence whether IL-4/IL-13-IL-4 receptor-alpha (Rα)-mediated mechanisms may in fact cause reactivation and pathology. Unfortunately, the virtual absence of centrally necrotizing granulomas in experimental murine TB is associated with a poor induction of a TH2 immune response. We therefore hypothesize that in mice, an increased production of IL-13 may lead to a pathology similar to human post-primary TB. In our study, aerosol Mtb infection of IL-13-overexpressing mice in fact resulted in pulmonary centrally necrotizing granulomas with multinucleated giant cells, a hypoxic rim and a perinecrotic collagen capsule with an adjacent zone of lipid-rich, acid-fast bacilli-containing foamy macrophages, thus strongly resembling the pathology in human post-primary TB. Granuloma necrosis (GN) in Mtb-infected IL-13-overexpressing mice was associated with the induction of arginase-1-expressing macrophages. Indirect blockade of the endogenous arginase inhibitor L-hydroxyarginine in Mtb-infected wildtype mice resulted in a strong arginase expression and precipitated a similar pathology of GN. Together, we here introduce an experimental TB model that displays many features of centrally necrotizing granulomas in human post-primary TB and demonstrate that IL-13/IL-4Rα-dependent mechanisms leading to arginase-1 expression are involved in TB-associated tissue pathology.
    The Journal of Pathology 11/2014; DOI:10.1002/path.4399 · 7.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhinoviruses (RVs), which are the most common cause of virally induced asthma exacerbations, account for much of the burden of asthma in terms of morbidity, mortality, and associated cost. Interleukin-25 (IL-25) activates type 2-driven inflammation and is therefore potentially important in virally induced asthma exacerbations. To investigate this, we examined whether RV-induced IL-25 could contribute to asthma exacerbations. RV-infected cultured asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells exhibited a heightened intrinsic capacity for IL-25 expression, which correlated with donor atopic status. In vivo human IL-25 expression was greater in asthmatics at baseline and during experimental RV infection. In addition, in mice, RV infection induced IL-25 expression and augmented allergen-induced IL-25. Blockade of the IL-25 receptor reduced many RV-induced exacerbation-specific responses including type 2 cytokine expression, mucus production, and recruitment of eosinophils, neutrophils, basophils, and T and non-T type 2 cells. Therefore, asthmatic epithelial cells have an increased intrinsic capacity for expression of a pro-type 2 cytokine in response to a viral infection, and IL-25 is a key mediator of RV-induced exacerbations of pulmonary inflammation.
    Science translational medicine 10/2014; 6(256):256ra134. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009124 · 14.41 Impact Factor
  • Andrew N J McKenzie, Hergen Spits, Gerard Eberl
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    ABSTRACT: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) were first described as playing important roles in the development of lymphoid tissues and more recently in the initiation of inflammation at barrier surfaces in response to infection or tissue damage. It has now become apparent that ILCs play more complex roles throughout the duration of immune responses, participating in the transition from innate to adaptive immunity and contributing to chronic inflammation. The proximity of ILCs to epithelial surfaces and their constitutive strategic positioning in other tissues throughout the body ensures that, in spite of their rarity, ILCs are able to regulate immune homeostasis effectively. Dysregulation of ILC function might result in chronic pathologies such as allergies, autoimmunity, and inflammation. A new role for ILCs in the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis has started to emerge, underlining their importance in fundamental physiological processes beyond infection and immunity.
    Immunity 09/2014; 41(3):366-374. DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.09.006 · 19.75 Impact Factor
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    Jillian L Barlow, Andrew N J McKenzie
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of reviewRecent decades have seen allergic diseases become endemic in a number of developed countries. Understanding the inflammatory processes that dictate these allergic responses is therefore important.Recent findingsCritical to many allergic responses is the inappropriate release of the type-2 immune-regulatory cytokines: interleukin-4, interleukin-5, interleukin-9, and interleukin-13. The study of these inflammatory mediators has led directly to the development of two new asthma treatments: anti-interleukin-5 and anti-interleukin-13. Until recently, T helper 2 cells were considered to be the major cellular source of type-2 cytokines; however, a paradigm shift occurred with the discovery of a novel population, type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), that can produce huge levels of type-2 cytokines and are sufficient to induce allergy in mice. This discovery raises interesting questions about how innate and adaptive type-2 immunity might interact to induce relapsing and remitting episodes of allergy in patients.SummaryIt is essential that alongside the mechanistic investigation using model organisms, the roles of ILC2s in human disease be explored. Here, we discuss how ILC2 traits, discovered in mouse models, have informed research in humans and how newly identified human ILC2 pathways might provide potential therapeutic benefits in the future.
    Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 08/2014; 14(5). DOI:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000090 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) release interleukin-13 (IL-13) during protective immunity to helminth infection and detrimentally during allergy and asthma. Using two mouse models to deplete ILC2s in vivo, we demonstrate that T helper 2 (Th2) cell responses are impaired in the absence of ILC2s. We show that MHCII-expressing ILC2s interact with antigen-specific T cells to instigate a dialog in which IL-2 production from T cells promotes ILC2 proliferation and IL-13 production. Deletion of MHCII renders IL-13-expressing ILC2s incapable of efficiently inducing Nippostrongylus brasiliensis expulsion. Thus, during transition to adaptive T cell-mediated immunity, the ILC2 and T cell crosstalk contributes to their mutual maintenance, expansion and cytokine production. This interaction appears to augment dendritic-cell-induced T cell activation and identifies a previously unappreciated pathway in the regulation of type-2 immunity.
    Immunity 07/2014; 41(2). DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.06.016 · 19.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Humans are frequently exposed to various airborne allergens in the atmospheric environment. These allergens may trigger a complex network of immune responses in the airways, resulting in asthma and other chronic airway diseases. In this study, we investigated the immunological mechanisms involved in the pathological changes induced by chronic exposure to multiple airborne allergens. Naive mice were exposed intranasally to a combination of common airborne allergens, including the house dust mite, Alternaria, and Aspergillus, for up to 8 wk. These allergens acted synergistically and induced robust eosinophilic airway inflammation, specific IgE Ab production, type 2 cytokine response, and airway hyperresponsiveness in 4 wk, followed by airway remodeling in 8 wk. Increased lung infiltration of T cells, B cells, and type 2 innate lymphoid cells was observed. CD4(+) T cells and type 2 innate lymphoid cells contributed to the sources of IL-5 and IL-13, suggesting involvement of both innate and adaptive immunity in this model. The lung levels of IL-33 increased quickly within several hours after allergen exposure and continued to rise throughout the chronic phase of inflammation. Mice deficient in IL-33R (Il1rl1(-/-)) and thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor (Tslpr(-/-)) showed significant reduction in airway inflammation, IgE Ab levels, and airway hyperresponsiveness. In contrast, mice deficient in IL-25R or IL-1R showed minimal differences as compared with wild-type animals. Thus, chronic exposure to natural airborne allergens triggers a network of innate and adaptive type 2 immune responses and airway pathology, and IL-33 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin most likely play key roles in this process.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2014; 193(4). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1302984 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular checkpoints that drive inflammatory bowel diseases are incompletely understood. Here we found more T cells expressing the transcription factor PU.1 and interleukin 9 (IL-9) in patients with ulcerative colitis. In an animal model, citrine reporter mice had more IL-9-expressing mucosal T cells in experimental oxazolone-induced colitis. IL-9 deficiency suppressed acute and chronic colitis. Mice with PU.1 deficiency in T cells were protected from colitis, whereas treatment with antibody to IL-9 suppressed colitis. Functionally, IL-9 impaired intestinal barrier function and prevented mucosal wound healing in vivo. Thus, our findings suggest that the TH9 subset of helper T cells serves an important role in driving ulcerative colitis by regulating intestinal epithelial cells and that TH9 cells represent a likely target for the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammation.
    Nature Immunology 06/2014; 16(2). DOI:10.1038/ni.2920 · 24.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T helper 2 (Th2) cells regulate helminth infections, allergic disorders, tumor immunity, and pregnancy by secreting various cytokines. It is likely that there are undiscovered Th2 signaling molecules. Although steroids are known to be immunoregulators, de novo steroid production from immune cells has not been previously characterized. Here, we demonstrate production of the steroid pregnenolone by Th2 cells in vitro and in vivo in a helminth infection model. Single-cell RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR analysis suggest that pregnenolone synthesis in Th2 cells is related to immunosuppression. In support of this, we show that pregnenolone inhibits Th cell proliferation and B cell immunoglobulin class switching. We also show that steroidogenic Th2 cells inhibit Th cell proliferation in a Cyp11a1 enzyme-dependent manner. We propose pregnenolone as a "lymphosteroid," a steroid produced by lymphocytes. We speculate that this de novo steroid production may be an intrinsic phenomenon of Th2-mediated immune responses to actively restore immune homeostasis.
    Cell Reports 05/2014; 7(4). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.04.011 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chitin, a polysaccharide constituent of many allergens and parasites, initiates innate type 2 lung inflammation through incompletely defined pathways. We show that inhaled chitin induced expression of three epithelial cytokines, interleukin-25 (IL-25), IL-33, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), which nonredundantly activated resident innate lymphoid type 2 cells (ILC2s) to express IL-5 and IL-13 necessary for accumulation of eosinophils and alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs). In the absence of all three epithelial cytokines, ILC2s normally populated the lung but failed to increase IL-5 and IL-13. Although eosinophils and AAMs were attenuated, neutrophil influx remained normal without these epithelial cytokines. Genetic ablation of ILC2s, however, enhanced IL-1β, TNFα, and IL-23 expression, increased activation of IL-17A-producing γδ T cells, and prolonged neutrophil influx. Thus, chitin elicited patterns of innate cytokines that targeted distinct populations of resident lymphoid cells, revealing divergent but interacting pathways underlying the tissue accumulation of specific types of inflammatory myeloid cells.
    Immunity 03/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.02.003 · 19.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Naive CD4(+) T cell differentiation into distinct subsets of T helper (Th) cells is a pivotal process in the initiation of the adaptive immune response. Allergens predominantly stimulate Th2 cells, causing allergic inflammation. However, why allergens induce Th2 cell differentiation is not well understood. Here we show that group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are required to mount a robust Th2 cell response to the protease-allergen papain. Intranasal administration of papain stimulated ILC2s and Th2 cells, causing allergic lung inflammation and elevated immunoglobulin E titers. This process was severely impaired in ILC2-deficient mice. Whereas interleukin-4 (IL-4) was dispensable for papain-induced Th2 cell differentiation, ILC2-derived IL-13 was critical as it promoted migration of activated lung dendritic cells into the draining lymph node where they primed naive T cells to differentiate into Th2 cells. Papain-induced ILC2 activation and Th2 cell differentiation was IL-33-dependent, suggesting a common pathway in the initiation of Th2 cell responses to allergen.
    Immunity 03/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.01.011 · 19.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of the group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2) population leads to production of the classical type 2 cytokines, thus promoting type 2 immunity. Chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on TH2 cells (CRTH2), a receptor for prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), is expressed by human ILC2s. However, the function of CRTH2 in these cells is unclear. We sought to determine the role of PGD2 and CRTH2 in human ILC2s and compare it with that of the established ILC2 activators IL-25 and IL-33. The effects of PGD2, IL-25, and IL-33 on the cell migration, cytokine production, gene regulation, and receptor expression of ILC2s were measured with chemotaxis, ELISA, Luminex, flow cytometry, quantitative RT-PCR, and QuantiGene assays. The effects of PGD2 under physiologic conditions were evaluated by using the supernatant from activated mast cells. PGD2 binding to CRTH2 induced ILC2 migration and production of type 2 cytokines and many other cytokines. ILC2 activation through CRTH2 also upregulated the expression of IL-33 and IL-25 receptor subunits (ST2 and IL-17RA). The effects of PGD2 on ILC2s could be mimicked by the supernatant from activated human mast cells and inhibited by a CRTH2 antagonist. PGD2 is an important and potent activator of ILC2s through CRTH2 mediating strong proallergic inflammatory responses. Through IgE-mediated mast cell degranulation, these innate cells can also contribute to adaptive type 2 immunity; thus CRTH2 bridges the innate and adaptive pathways in human ILC2s.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 12/2013; 133(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.10.056 · 11.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-family cytokine TL1A (TNFSF15) costimulates T cells and promotes diverse T cell-dependent models of autoimmune disease through its receptor DR3. TL1A polymorphisms also confer susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease. Here, we find that allergic pathology driven by constitutive TL1A expression depends on interleukin-13 (IL-13), but not on T, NKT, mast cells, or commensal intestinal flora. Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) express surface DR3 and produce IL-13 and other type 2 cytokines in response to TL1A. DR3 is required for ILC2 expansion and function in the setting of T cell-dependent and -independent models of allergic disease. By contrast, DR3-deficient ILC2 can still differentiate, expand, and produce IL-13 when stimulated by IL-25 or IL-33, and mediate expulsion of intestinal helminths. These data identify costimulation of ILC2 as a novel function of TL1A important for allergic lung disease, and suggest that TL1A may be a therapeutic target in these settings.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 25 December 2013; doi:10.1038/mi.2013.114.
    Mucosal Immunology 12/2013; DOI:10.1038/mi.2013.114 · 7.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Disease conditions associated with pulmonary fibrosis are progressive and have a poor long-term prognosis with irreversible changes in airway architecture leading to marked morbidity and mortalities. Using murine models we demonstrate a role for interleukin (IL)-25 in the generation of pulmonary fibrosis. Mechanistically, we identify IL-13 release from type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) as sufficient to drive collagen deposition in the lungs of challenged mice and suggest this as a potential mechanism through which IL-25 is acting. Additionally, we demonstrate that in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis there is increased pulmonary expression of IL-25 and also observe a population ILC2 in the lungs of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients. Collectively, we present an innate mechanism for the generation of pulmonary fibrosis, via IL-25 and ILC2, that occurs independently of T-cell–mediated antigen-specific immune responses. These results suggest the potential of therapeutically targeting IL-25 and ILC2 for the treatment of human fibrotic diseases.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2013; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1315854111 · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

11k Citations
1,359.82 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      • MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2014
    • Mrc Harwell
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Glasgow
      • Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
      Glasgow, SCT, United Kingdom
    • Cardiff University
      • Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology
      Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases (LPD)
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 2002–2013
    • Medical Research Council (UK)
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Indian Broiler (IB) Group India
      Bhānpuri, Chhattisgarh, India
    • University of New South Wales
      • Department of Pathology
      Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1998–2013
    • University of Cambridge
      • MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Allergic Diseases
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
    • WWF United Kingdom
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • University of Cape Town
      • Division of Immunology
      Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
  • 2004–2007
    • Trinity College Dublin
      • • Institute of Molecular Medicine
      • • Biochemistry
      Dublin, L, Ireland
  • 2001
    • Australian National University
      • Molecular Bioscience Department
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 1999
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom