Microbes and Immunity
The microbes and immunity theme encompasses work on inflammation, immunity, microbiology, and infection. We work on a range of diseases and infections that affect humans and animals.
Areas of interest in immunity include the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions and the role of innate immunity in disease. Allergy and asthma research ranges from translational work on the genetic and immune aspects of asthma through to applied research on improved asthma management. Children and Women’s Health research extends from laboratory through to clinical based projects on: the use of probiotics and other immunomodulatory approaches to alter the course of allergic disease manifestation and development; determinants and consequences of variation in immune function in the newborn and placenta; and immunology in the setting of pregnancy, especially preterm birth, and women’s immune health. Reproductive Immunobiology research focuses on the mechanisms of infection and immunity in the female genital tract, particularly the role of innate immunity in the endometrium and ovary.
Microbiologists work on the fundamental and applied science of viruses, bacteria and lower eukaryotes. Swansea research includes aspects of virulence and pathogenicity and extends to include genomics to address complex questions in the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of bacteria and of fungi. Others are exploring functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics in streptomycetes, mycobacteria and fungi and are using microbes to produce chemical entities from biomass for use in industry and health care including by synthetic biology. Research is also directed at eukaryotic cell signalling, developing novel biotechnology approaches to counter a range of microbial infections including malaria, antimicrobial peptides, parasitology, synthetic chemicals towards new antifungal compounds and understanding antibacterial and antifungal drug resistance. Swansea is also the home of the Cryptosporidium Reference Unit and the Toxoplasma Reference Laboratory located in the adjacent Singleton Hospital.