Group leader Dr Andy Edwards with a member of his groupThe CMBI benefits from a number of collaborations with individuals in other areas of the College, and with external organisations outside the Centre having complementary interests and expertise.

Centre for Infection Prevention and Management (CIPM)

As part of expanding the research capacity of the CMBI, we aim to capitalise on recent progress in key areas of bacterial infection biology, and to establish new programmes to address important but under-researched subjects. In particular we wish to study persistence and antibiotic resistance in understudied nosocomial pathogens, and mechanisms of host innate immunity and tolerance.

The CIPM provides excellent opportunities to understand bacterial infection in the context of clinical disease (for example by providing clinically important problems to study using bacteria directly derived from infected patients), and through their links to Public Health England (PHE). New lecturers will be appointed to the CMBI to work on persistence, antibiotic resistance and the biology of nosocomial pathogens and will work to develop collaborative links with the CIPM, including shared PhD studentships.

Professor Shiranee Sriskandan is a Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, an expert on streptococcal virulence and one of the workstream leaders within the CIPM. Professor Sriskandan is an affiliate member of the CMBI and will act as our lead contact within CIPM, facilitating collaborations and also providing advice to clinical trainees.

Specifically the collaboration between the CIPM and CMBI will be complementary in the following ways:

Strong clinical links with Imperial College NHS Trust

The clinical laboratories have a longstanding history of collaboration with the academic laboratories, including support in academic training of biomedical scientists and clinical microbiology research fellows in addition to practical aspects such as identification of clinical samples having important and novel characteristics in terms of virulence, antibiotic resistance, persistence etc.

Clinical Research Fellow mentoring and integration

The Section of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, in which CIPM is based, houses one of the largest groups of infection-related clinician scientists in a UK University Hospital. The Section has a long history of mentoring and training clinicians in research, including those from specialities such as medical microbiology, infectious diseases, intensive care, and respiratory medicine, nearly all supported by competitive fellowships from the MRC or Wellcome Trust and a strong track record of reintegrating them into clinical service. In addition to CIPM's own research programme, the CMBI will provide an excellent training hub for future clinician scientists wishing to pursue research in microbiology. The knowledge and experience of senior clinicians in CIPM and the Section of Infectious Diseases and Immunity will provide significant co-supervision and mentoring capacity to fellows and PhD students with a view to developing their future clinical academic careers and reintegration into clinical work thereafter.   

Building on CIPM's existing collaborations with Public Health England (PHE)

Research and development dedicated to the infectious diseases aspects of public health are part of the function of the Centre for Infections at the PHE.  The CIPM team undertake epidemiological research and development on issues of communicable disease prevention and control, developing new surveillance tools, defining risk and evaluating effectiveness of interventions. CIPM has joint grants and publications with the PHE and it is envisaged that collaboration with the CMBI will build on these relationships.

Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health

Professor David Holden, MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (MRC CMBI) and Professor Calman MacLennan, Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, jointly supervise Dr Julian Rycroft, a Clinical Research Training Fellow, based within the CMBI.

African nontyphoidal strains of Salmonella constitute a major cause of fatal bacteraemia in sub-Saharan Africa. Research led by Professor Holden has provided insight into the mechanisms of Salmonella virulence and survival in host cells, while work by the group of Professor Cal MacLennan  has focused on the role of antibody and its interaction with cellular immunity in protection against invasive Salmonella disease in Africans and how this can go wrong in the context of HIV infection. The PhD project seeks to understand the interplay between these mechanisms of virulence and immunity in determining the outcome of this pivotal host-pathogen interaction. It is anticipated that the findings of the project will help further inform vaccine development against invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella disease in Africa and, in particular, what is required to induce sterilising immunity against these bacteria.

Julian's fellowship is funded by the Medical Research Council and Imperial's Biomedical Research Centre.

Affiliate members

Professor Shiranee Sriskandan, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London

Professor Huw Williams, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London

Professor Jane Davies, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London

Dr Angela Brueggemann, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London

Professor Jörg Vogel, Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany