MCCIR principal investigators

Working together

The University of Manchester, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.



Professor Tracy Hussell

Professor Tracy Hussell (MCCIR Director)
2nd Floor CTF Building
46 Grafton Street
The University of Manchester
M13 9NT

T: +44 (0)161 275 1537

  • “Brainstorming new concepts in inflammatory disease with industrial and clinical scientists, and then to have the freedom and the facilities to act upon those ideas is an unmissable opportunity. If our goal is to translate great basic science for the benefit of patients, then industrial scientists should be involved at the beginning of the discovery process. The MCCIR embodies a new model of partnership, a model that I believe will release the constraints on our understanding of inflammatory diseases and how to alleviate them.”

    Professor Tracy Hussell

  • “This is about using explorative, fundamental, blue-sky research to tackle some of the bottlenecks in the pharmaceutical industry. Interaction with our partners has nudged some of my research program into studying problems relevant to medicine and pharma; studying the complexities of cell interactions in lung tissue, for example, instead of just common cell lines. This approach is very different compared to targeted collaborations that are more typical between industry and academia. We seek step-changes in how new medicines can be developed.”

    Professor Dan Davis

  • “For years I’ve been trying to find a way around the often conservative constraints of traditional academic funding routes to be able to really push the boundaries of my research. The MCCIR is giving me the exciting opportunity to do exactly this, to take my expertise in murine models of helminth Type 2 inflammation and to apply it in novel ways to allergy, and to start using human cells and systems. This innovative marriage of academia and industry takes advantage of the strengths of both, and in my opinion is the best way to move forward in funding the basic science of the future, while also giving a realistic route to true translation.”

    Professor Andrew MacDonald

The Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) was established in October 2012 to address current priorities in inflammatory disease in an open innovation, pre-competitive collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester have each invested £5M to promote “blue skies” research over the next 5 years. Our mission is to bring together clinical, industrial, and academic scientists – and innovate at this interface or in this unique interactive environment.


  • Is a bespoke group of dynamic and renowned scientists
  • Mixes both explorative and targeted research relevant to inflammatory disease
  • Allows us to take risks beyond the confines of typical three year funding streams
  • Is connected with a rich diversity of patient cohorts
  • Provides investors with a network of expertise and state of the art inflammatory models

We are:

Tracy Hussell (Director): Lung immunity in health and disease
Understanding how inflammation is inhibited in the healthy lung, how this inhibition is overcome and the altered immune health in resolution of, or during chronic, inflammatory disease

Dan Davis (Director of Research): Imaging immunology
Probing the dynamics of immune cell biology using novel and state-of-the-art imaging technology; immune synapses, membrane nanotubes and intercellular communication

James Fildes: Inflammation, tissue recovery and repair
Exploring the mechanisms of regulation of the immune response to endogenous cellular stress, with a focus on the heart and lungs

Andrew MacDonald: Dendritic cells and type 2 inflammation
To determine how Type 2 immunity is initiated, maintained and regulated, with the ultimate goal being identification of cellular and molecular targets for rational development of therapeutics

Mark Travis: Immune responses in the intestine
Studying the pathways that regulate T-cell responses in the intestine and how changes in this regulation can result in inflammatory bowel disease

Silvia Bulfone-Paus: The role of mast cells in controlling tissue homeostasis and pathogenesis
The research interest of the laboratory is to investigate the role that mast cells play in controlling tissue homeostasis and pathogenesis

Amy Saunders: The skin immune system in homeostasis and inflammation
We are interested in all aspects of the skin immune system, but a particular focus is on mechanisms which actively maintain immune cell tolerance in healthy skin.

Gloria Lopez Castejon: Danger signals in the inflammatory response
The mechanisms by which known danger signals trigger inflammasome activation and the identification of new danger signals that initiate this process.

John Grainger: Inflammatory cell function and conditioning during infection
Understanding how tissue specific signals condition the function of recruited cell populations.

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