Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Professor of Immunology and Respiratory Medicine







8N22Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





 Prof. Rosemary Boyton is Head of Lung Immunology, Adult Infectious Disease, Department of Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Boyton works on the molecular immunology of infectious, allergic and autoimmune inflammation through patient based studies and TCR, HLA class II, lung targeted, inducible (Cre/Lox) and reporter transgenic models. Prof. Boyton studies the interplay between pathogen, host microbiota and innate and adaptive immune mechanisms in the regulation of inflammation.

Current research areas include: adaptive immunity in Zika virus and Chikungunya virus infection; adaptive immunity in infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei, B cepacia and B. multivorans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus; functional correlates of gut and lung microbiota and immune phenotype; lung autoimmunity; stem cells in chronic lung infection; regulation of NK cell responses by activating and inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like (KIR) receptors and understanding how pathogen and self-peptide can modulate NK cell function through altering levels of NK cell activation/inhibition; the role of T cell receptor structure in effector function; correlates of protection in infection and vaccine studies.

Prof. Boyton is a Principal Investigator in the MRC & Asthma UK centre in Allergic Mechanisms of AsthmaDr Boyton is on the editorial board of Clinical & Experimental Immunology. Prof. Boyton is a member of the Versus Arthritis UK College of Experts.

Prof. Boyton is an Honorary Consultant Physician in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. Prof. Boyton has specialist clinical expertise in lung infection (including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), Aspergillus fumigatus), bronchiectasis and host immunity to infection. 

LungBronchiectasis: Current Concepts in Pathogenesis, Immunology and Microbiology. Annual Review of Pathology 2016.

The research is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)Wellcome Trust, Innovate UKNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH NIAID)Asthma UK, MS Society, Versus Arthritis UKWelton Foundation and NIHR.


With Professor Danny Altmann and Prof. Francois Balloux, Prof. Rosemary Boyton hosted a meeting at The Royal Society, London called "Human evolution, migration and history revealed by genetics, immunity and infection". This meeting offered a journey from molecules to history, bringing together geneticists, immunologists, anthropologists and historians. Infection has been the most potent evolutionary force in human history, eliminating genes offering poor resistance and selecting for new mutations conferring protection against a threat. The meeting addressed the issue of how genetics can help us understand natural selection, human evolution and migration over the past 70,000 years.

Philospohical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences. Volume 367. Issue 1590. Discussion meeting issue, 'Immunity, infection, migration and human evolution' organised and edited by Danny Altmann, Francois Balloux and Rosemary Boyton.

Easter Island

Easter Island

Speakers and Chairs included: Professor Mark Achtman, Professor Danny Altmann, Dr Kristian Andersen, Dr Francois Balloux, Professor Luigi Cavalli- Sforza, Professor Marc Feldmann FRS, Professor Marcelo Fernández-Viña, Dr Sebastien Gagneux, Professor Adrian Hill, Professor Nina Jablonski, Professor Mark Jobling, Professor John Novembre, Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, Professor Peter Parham FRS, Dr Alice Roberts, Professor Erik Thorsby, Professor Eske Willerslev, Dr Sarah Williams-Blangero

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Reynolds C, Chong D, Raynsford E, et al., 2014, Elongated TCR alpha chain CDR3 favors an altered CD4 cytokine profile., BMC Biology, Vol:12, ISSN:1741-7007

Lowther DE, Chong DL, Ascough S, et al., 2013, Th1 not Th17 cells drive spontaneous MS-like disease despite a functional regulatory T cell response, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol:126, ISSN:0001-6322, Pages:501-515

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