About us

Our multidisciplinary team provides a broad mixture of skills enabling us to synergistically deliver our research aims. Our group provides a forum supporting a broad range of related research areas recognised both nationally and internationally. This in turn has resulted in several fruitful collaborative links with prestigious institutions around the globe. Through working as a research-oriented group, we provide a scientifically stimulating environment to enhance and benefit the experience of our post-graduate research students.

  •  Our focus is primarily elucidation of the mechanisms that underpin the development of the immune system and the function of the immune response at both cellular and acellular levels.
  •  Investigation of potential virulence factors and other mechanisms utilised by pathogens compared to their less virulent environmental counterparts.
  •  Assessment of interactions between host and pathogens that might influence clinical consequences or likelihood of infection.
Infection and Immunity group team

Group members

The group is co-ordinated by Sally Cutler with the following staff and students actively contributing: 


Recent publications


  • Cutler, S.J., Abdissa, A., Adamu, H., Tolosa, T., Gashaw, A. (2012) Bartonella in Ethiopian lice. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 35: 17-21.
  • Cutler, S.J., Abdissa, A., Adamu, H., Tolosa, T., Gashaw, A. 2012 Borrelia in Ethiopian ticks ticks. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases 3: 14-17.
  • Pader, V., Nikitorowicz-Buniak, J. Abdissa, A., Adamu, H., Tolosa, T., Gashaw, A. Cutler, S.J. Rickettsia hoogstraalii in Ethiopian Argas persicus ticks. Ticks & Tick-Borne Diseases in press.
  • Cutler, S.J. Frangoulidis D. (2012) Coxiella burnetii – Q fever. BSL3 and BSL4 Agents: Epidemiology, Microbiology and Practical Guidelines. Editors Mandy Elschner, Sally Cutler, Manfred Weidman and Patrick Butaye Wiley-VCH.
  • Alice N. Maina; Stephanie Speck; Eva Spitalska; Rudolf Toman; Gerhard Dobler; Sally J. Cutler (2012) Rickettsiosis- Rickettsia species. BSL3 and BSL4 Agents: Epidemiology, Microbiology and Practical Guidelines. Editors Mandy Elschner, Sally Cutler, Manfred Weidman and Patrick Butaye Wiley-VCH.
  • Sally J. Cutler, Michel S. Zygmunt & Bruno Garin-Bastuji (2012) Brucellosis – Brucella species. BSL3 and BSL4 Agents: Epidemiology, Microbiology and Practical Guidelines. Editors Mandy Elschner, Sally Cutler, Manfred Weidman and Patrick Butaye Wiley-VCH.
  • Knobel DL, Maina AN, Cutler SJ, Ogola E, Feikin DR, Cleaveland S, Junghae M, Halliday JEB, Breiman RF, Njenga MK. Coxiella burnetii in humans, animals and ticks in Kenya. Am J Trop Med & Hyg 2012 in press.
  • Haitham E, Gimenez G, Robert C, Cutler SJ, Raoult D, Drancourt M. Complete genome sequence of Borrelia crocidurae. J Bacteriol in press April 2012.
  • Haitham E, Gimenez G, Sokhna C, Barker SC, Cutler SJ, Raoult D, Drancourt M. Multispacer sequence typing relapsing fever borreliae in Africa. PLoS Neglected Diseases 2012 in press.
  • Lau CI*, Outram SV*, Saldaña JI, Furmanski AL, Dessens JT, Crompton T. Regulation of murine normal and stress-induced erythropoiesis by Desert Hedgehog (Dhh). Blood. 2012 Mar 28. [Epub ahead of print] * equal contribution.


  • Cutler, S.J., Rinky, I.J., Bonilla, E.M. 2011 Does RecA have a role in Borrelia recurrentis? Clinical Microbiology & Infection 17 (2) 195-7.
  • Palma M, Lopes de Carvalho I, Figueiredo, M, Amaro, F, Boinas F, Cutler SJ, Núncio MS. 2011. Borrelia hispanica in Ornithodoros erraticus, Portugal. Clinical Microbiology & Infection. 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03623.x.
  • Cutler, S. (2011) Spirochaetes: past lessons to future directions. Clinical Microbiology & Infection 17 (4) 481-3.
  • Antoniou A. N., Guiliano D. B., Lenart I., Burn G. and Powis S. (2011) The redox status of HLA-B27 and the influence on biosynthesis Antioxidants and Redox Signalling Aug 1;15(3):669-84
  • Lenart I., Guiliano D. B. , Burn G., Campbell E.C., Morley K.D., Fussell H., Powis S. and Antoniou A. N. (2011) The MHC Class I Heavy Chain Structurally Conserved Cysteines 101 and 164 Participate in HLA-B27 Dimer Formation. Antioxidants and Redox Signalling 2011 Sep 15 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Antoniou A.N., Lenart I., Guiliano, D.B. (2011) Pathogenicity of Misfolded and Dimeric HLA-B27 Molecules International Journal Rheumatology ;2011:486856. Epub 2011


  • Cutler, S.J. (2010) Relapsing Fever - A forgotten disease revealed. Journal for Applied Microbiology 108: 1115-1122.
  • Cutler SJ, Fooks AR, van der Poel WHM. (2010) Public health threat of new, reemerging, and neglected zoonoses in the industrialized world. Emerg Infect Dis 16 (1) 1-7.
  • Cutler, S.J. Bonilla, E.M., Singh, R. 2010 Insights into the Population Structure of East African Relapsing Fever Borrelia. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16 (7) 1076-1080.
  • Grosskinsky, S. Schott, M., Brenner, C., Cutler, S.J., Simon, M.M. Wallich, R. 2010 Human complement regulators C4b-binding protein and C1 esterase inhibitor interact with a novel outer surface protein of Borrelia recurrentis. PLoS Neglected Diseases 4(6): e698.
  • Antoniou A.N., Lenart I., Guiliano, D.B. and Powis S.J. (2010) Antigen processing and presentation by MHC I, II, and non-classical molecules, Principles in Vaccinology
  • Drakopoulou E*, Outram SV, Rowbotham NJ, Ross SE, Furmanski AL, Saldana JI, Hager-Theodorides AL, Crompton T. (2010) Non-redundant role for the transcription factor Gli1 at multiple stages of thymocyte development. Cell Cycle. 2010 Oct 15;9(20):4144-52. * Equal contribution.


  • Cutler, S.J. (2009) Myths, legends and realities of relapsing fever borreliosis. Clinical Microbiology & Infection Editorial 15:395-6.
  • Cutler, S.J., Abdissa, A. & Trape, J-F. (2009) New Concepts for the Old Challenges of African Relapsing Fever Borreliosis. Clinical Microbiology & Infection.15: 400-6.
  • Grosskinsky S, Schott M, Brenner C, Cutler SJ, Kraiczy P, et al. 2009 Borrelia recurrentis Employs a Novel Multifunctional Surface Protein with Anti-Complement, Anti-Opsonic and Invasive Potential to Escape Innate Immunity. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4858. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004858
  • Outram, SV, Hager-Theodorides, AR*, Shah, DK*, Rowbotham, NJ, Drakopoulou, E, Ross, SE, Lanske, B, Dessens,JT and Crompton, T., (2009). Indian hedgehog (Ihh) both promotes and restricts thymocyte differentiation. *equal contribution. Blood. Mar 5;113(10):2217-28.
  • Rowbotham, NJ, Hager-Theodorides, AL, Furmanski, AL, Ross, SE, Drakopoulo, E, Outram, SV, Dessens. JT, and Crompton, T. (2009). Shh negatively regulates pre-TCR induced differentiation by a Gli2 dependent mechanism. Blood. 2009 May 21;113(21):5144-56. Epub 2009 Mar 9
  • Hager-Theodorides, AL, Furmanski, AL, Ross,S, Outram, SV, Rowbotham NJ and Crompton, T. The Gli3 transcription factor, expressed in the thymus stroma, controls thymocyte negative selection via hedgehog dependent and independent mechanisms.J Immunol. 2009 Sep 1;183(5):3023-32. Epub 2009 Aug 10.
  • Guiliano, D.B. and Oksov, Y, (2009) Trichinella and the nurse cell "Intracellular niches of microbes" Edited by Schaible U.E. and Haas A. Wiley- VCH, Weinheim.
  • Guiliano, D.B., Oksov, Y, Lustigman S., Gounaris K., and Selkirk M.E. Characterisation of novel protein families secreted from the muscle stage larvae of Trichinella spiralis. (2009) Int. J. of Parasitology Apr;39(5):515-24.


Invited Presentations 2009-2012

  • Cutler, S. J..& Joanna Nikitorowicz-Buniak "Preliminary molecular characterisation of a Rickettsia species present in the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata" Medical Biodefence Conference,2009, Munich, Germany 21 -23 October 2009.
  • Cutler, S.J. "Dilemmas in Rickettsial diagnostics" Seminar Walter Reed, Kisumu, Kenya, 25 September 2009.
  • Cutler, S.J. "Relapsing fever – forgotten not gone"  SfAM Summer meeting, Manchester 6-8 July 2009
  • Cutler, S.J. "Fresh air or is it? A tale of Q fever" IBMS congress 28 September 2009, Birmingham.
  • Guiliano, D.B. "HLA-B27 modulates Salmonella infection of epithelial cells" Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN) Houston, Texas, USA July 2009.
  • Guiliano, D.B. "Trichinella and the Nurse Cell: Making muscle a home" International Conference on Intracellular Niches of Microbes Borstel, Germany June 2009.
  • Guiliano, D.B. "Does HLA-B27 influence Gram-negative bacterial infection?" Windeyer Institute seminar series, University College London, London, UK April 2009.
  • Cutler, S.J. Once bitten twice shy - insights into arthropod-borne infections. London Regional IBMS meeting 19 October 2010, London, UK.
  • Cutler, S.J. Microbe 2010, Sheffield 24 -26 September 2010.
  • Cutler, S.J. New insights into Brucellosis and Relapsing Fever - a molecular perspective. Jimma University, Ethiopia 28 July 2010.
  • Cutler, S.J. Relapsing Fever - Forgotten disease revealed. Austrian Medical & Hygiene Association 17 -20  May 2010, Vienna, Austria.
  • Cutler, S. J. Fur, feather and fever - changing trends in zoonotic infections. Regional Virology Tribute Meeting, Norwich 13 March 2010.
  • Guiliano, D.B. "The folding status of HLA-B27 influences the outcome S. typhimurium infection" British Society for Immunology, Liverpool, UK December 2010.
  • Guiliano, D.B. "Salmonella Typhimurium infection activates and requires ER stress responses.' Infection and Immunity seminar series, University College London, London, UK June 2010.
  • Cutler, S.J. One Health Control of Bacterial Zoonoses. Infectious Disease and One Health: Vaccines and Therapeutics Meeting Emory University/CDC, Atlanta, USA 2 February 2011.
  • Cutler, S.J. Thirty years in Medical Microbiology - what has changed? Wessex Applied Microbiology meeting 1 - 3 April 2011.
  • Cutler, S.J. Microbiological dangers of water sports. Institute of Biomedical Sciences Congress, Birmingham, 26-28 September 2011.
  • Cutler, S.J. Emerging technologies and pathogen discovery. Institute of Biomedical Sciences Congress, Birmingham 26 -28 September 2011.


Recent Funding Awarded

  • 2009 - Nuffield vacation studentship characterising a Rickettsial species found in the African soft tick Ornithodoros moubata. Funded £1500. [Cutler]
  • 2009 - Wellcome Trust Value in People Award (VIP). UCL/Wellcome Trust £26,474 [Outram]
  • 2009 - The regulation of early thymocyte development by morphogen signalling. BBSRC Standard proposal £512,000 [Outram]
  • 2006/2009 - Connexin composition in the inner ear. BBSRC £350,000 [Casalotti]
  • 2009 - Relapsing fever Borrelia in Ethiopian lice and ticks. SGM £2945 [Cutler]
  • 2011 - Changes in gene expression related to drug addiction. Start up research grant UEL £2,000 [Stefano Casalotti]
  • 2011 - Rickettsia in soft ticks. UEL Research Development Funding £5000 [Cutler]
  • 2011 - In situ typing of leptospirosis among UK wildlife. Nuffield vacation studentship. £1588 [Cutler]
  • 2011 - The role of Hedgehog signalling in T cell activation and proliferation. UEL start up grant £2000 [Outram]
  • 2011 - Virulence factors in Arcobacter. UEL Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme, £ 2,000 [Scotti]
  • 2011 - Do Leptospira spp. in environmental and wildlife pose a risk to human or veterinary health? UEL Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme £2000 [Cutler]
  • 2011 - Children’s Center for Immunology and Vaccines (CCIV) Pilot Award, Emory University in collaboration with T. Lamb (Emory) and J. Mead (CDC) $50,000 [Guiliano]
  • 2012 - Investigation into the role of Sonic Hedgehog in B cell development using microarray gene analysis. Early Career Research Award (ECRA) £9710 [Outram]
  • 2012 - Development of a novel probiotic vaccine delivery system. Early Career Research Award (ECRA) £8317 [Guiliano]
  • 2012 - UEL summer internship - Bartonella in head lice (2012 £2000) [Cutler]  
  • 2013 - SfAM Students into work (2013 £2500) [Cutler]  
  • 2013 - UEL School-funded PhD studentship; 3 years. [Cutler; Guiliano; Scotti]