Immunology, Inflammation & Infection

Immunology is the study of the immune system, which has evolved to protect the body against pathogenic viruses, bacteria and parasites and also functions in protection against cancer. The immune system uses innate and adaptive (T and B cells) defence mechanisms to recognize and respond to foreign antigens on pathogens. Innate and adaptive responses are tightly controlled by anti-inflammatory cytokines and regulatory T cells and a failure in immune regulation can result in inflammation and immune responses to self-antigens and the development of autoimmune and other immune-mediated diseases.

The combined strengths in immunology, inflammation and Infection are critical in developing an understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases, immune mediated diseases and cancer. Researchers seek to better understand and exploit the interface between innate and adaptive immunity with a view to developing new or improved anti-inflammatory agents against diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes, immunotherapeutic drugs against cancer and adjuvants for vaccines against infection.

Infection and immunity is a major research focus at Trinity with involvement across a number of schools. These include the Schools of Biochemistry and Immunology, Genetics and Microbiology, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine and the Dental School. Research within these areas has focused on issues relating to:

  • Innate immunity
  • Signaling via pathogen recognition receptors
  • T cell biology and role of T cell subtypes in regulating host immune responses
  • The nature of infectious agents and their contribution to disease
  • Immunity to and immune evasion by bacteria, viruses and parasites
  • Vaccine and adjuvant development
  • Inflammatory diseases and drugs that suppress inflammation
  • Identification of pathways involved in human disease, including both inflammatory diseases and malignancy

Research Institutes / Centres

Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute

The Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) is an environment where innovative and interdisciplinary approaches are leading to scientific discoveries of biomedical importance, ultimately giving rise to better patient care. The mechanistic basis for a whole range of diseases is under investigation, including infectious and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Type 2 diabetes, neurological diseases such as motor neuron disease and multiple sclerosis, and different forms of cancer.

Immunology Research Centre (IRC)

The Immunology Research Centre (IRC) is an integrated collaborative effort bringing together leaders in the field of Immunology in Ireland, along with industrial partners, to better understand and exploit the interface between innate and adaptive immunity. This five year research programme is funded by a Strategic Research Cluster award from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).



Opsona Therapeutics is one of Europe's most innovative and dynamic drug development companies. It is a leader in drug development in immunology research, with particular focus on the innate immunity pathways.

TriMod Therapeutics Ltd is an early stage biotechnology company whose primary R&D focus is dedicated to developing novel platform technologies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases

Featured Publications & Research Outputs

See more publications for Immunology, Inflammation & Infection

Featured Trinity Researchers

Kingston Mills

  • Theme Champion and main contact
  • Prof of Experimental Immunology
  • School of Biochemistry and Immunology

Luke O’Neill

  • Professor of Biochemistry
  • School of Biochemistry and Immunology

Cliona O'Farrelly

  • Professor of Comparative Immunology
  • School of Biochemistry and Immunology

Seamus Martin

  • Smurfit Professor of Medical Genetics
  • School of Genetics and Microbiology

Andrew Bowie

  • Associate Professor
  • School of Biochemistry and Immunology

See more Trinity researchers for Immunology, Inflammation & Infection