Centre for Immunology and Vaccinology


The Centre for Immunology and Vaccinology (CIV), headed by Professor Xiao-Ning Xu, has been established in partnership with the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. The CIV mission is to improve human health by conducting basic and clinical research cooperatively with national and international institutions. This is technically driven with the goal of understanding the human immune mechanisms that correlate with protection against emerging infectious diseases, thus leading to the development of immunotherapies and effective vaccines.

Through joint appointments and affiliations at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, CIV collaborates closely with Imperial College NHS Trust, St Stephen’s AIDS Trust (SSAT), the largest HIV treatment centre in Europe, and the Human Immunology Laboratory (HIL) of the International AIDS vaccine initiative (IAVI). HIL/IAVI is a GCLP-accredited facility which serves as the central core laboratory performing immunological assays on samples from the largest worldwide HIV vaccine trial network, to assess the efficacy of candidate HIV vaccines.

We also offer cell sorting services to both internal and external users through the CIV CL3 Cell Sorting Facility.

Research areas and Centre leadership

Research areas and interests

A selection of the Centre's key research areas:

  • Immunotherapy for HIV and associated malignancies
  • Immune correlates of protection against emerging infectious pathogens
  • Immune responses against infections and vaccines in patients with primary immunodeficiencies and autoimmune diseases
  • Development of novel technologies for immunotherapy and vaccine evaluation
  • Innate Immunity against viral and bacterial infections in humans

Centre leadership

Head of the Centre for Immunology and Vaccinology
For the last ten years, Professor Xiao-Ning Xu served as Medical Research Council (MRC) Senior Clinical Scientist, project leader, and tenured programme leader at the MRC Human Immunology Unit, Oxford University, where he led research projects involving immune correlates of protection against emerging infectious diseases including HIV, SARS, and avian influenza. In 2010, he joined Novartis as the Head of Novartis Vaccines Research China, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics based in Shanghai, and is now the Chair professor in Human Immunology at Imperial College, based at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.

Research group members