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Emma Slack appointed new Professor of Molecular Immunology

We are delighted to announce that Professor Emma Slack is joining the Dunn School as the inaugural Barclay-Williams Professor of Molecular Immunology, in association with the Queen’s College.

Emma Slack headshot

Professor Slack is a leader in the rapidly growing field of the human gut microbiome. Her group investigates the interactions between bacteria and the gut. Epitomising the overall strategy of the Dunn School, her twin goals are to discover fundamental immunological principles, and to pioneer oral vaccines and methods of engineering the microbiome to improve health and protect against disease.

In 2021, for example, Professor Slack developed a new oral vaccine against food poisoning by Salmonella that relies on manipulating how the pathogen evolves in the gut. This vaccine can be combined with supplementation of the microbiota to generate sterilizing immunity in the intestine.

Emma Slack is currently a Professor of Mucosal Immunology at the ETH Zurich, and prior to that, was a postdoc in Canada and Bern.

“Many of the critically antibiotic-resistant bacteria colonize the intestine. Understanding how to effectively eradicate this colonization needs a deep understanding of the immune system, the gut microbiota, microbiology and host physiology. We are very excited to build bridges between ETH Zurich and all of you at the Dunn School to generate unique opportunities to move this research in new and impactful directions”.

The Barclay Williams Chair of Molecular Immunology was endowed by the CIU Trust and the EPA Research Fund and is named in honour of the distinguished Dunn School immunologists Alan Williams and Neil Barclay. It is held in conjunction with a Fellowship at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

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Slack Group

The Molecular Immunology group elucidates the mechanisms by which the mucosal immune system can control the abundance and pathogenicity of opportunistic pathogens.

Infection and Immunity

Several Dunn School groups use a range of approaches to investigate antigen presentation and immune regulation during health and disease and study the mechanisms that enable bacterial and viral pathogens to invade and proliferate inside their hosts.

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