Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Reader in Respiratory Translational Science



+44 (0)20 7594 8192robert.snelgrove




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Robert Snelgrove graduated from Imperial College London with a degree in Biochemistry, receiving the C. Ewart Sticking's award for excellence in Biochemistry and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to undertake an MRes in Biochemical Research at Imperial College London.  Dr Snelgrove took up a PhD within the group of Professor Tracy Hussell at the Centre of Molecular Microbiology and Infection / Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London. The focus of these studies was to investigate the potential to manipulate myeloid cells to modulate immune protection and immunopathology in respiratory infections. He enjoyed significant success, obtaining 11 peer-reviewed publications, including a first author manuscript in Nature Immunology.

In 2007, Dr Snelgrove was awarded the inaugural Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust. This prestigious and highly competitive award provides support for research scientists at an early stage of their career. In 2008, Dr Snelgrove took his fellowship to work within the laboratory of Professor J. Edwin Blalock at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), investigating the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) breakdown products in neutrophil recruitment during influenza infection. He discovered a novel anti-inflammatory pathway whereby the enzyme leukotriene A4 Hydrolase (LTA4H) degrades an ECM-derived neutrophil chemoattractant (the tripeptide proline-glycine-proline; PGP) and limits neutrophilic inflammation. This work was published in Science; a manuscript for which he is first and corresponding author.

In 2010, Dr Snelgrove relocated to the Leukocyte Biology section of the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at Imperial College to initiate an environment capable of progressing his studies independently and was subsequently awarded a Career Development Award by the Wellcome Trust. Dr Snelgrove’s current research focuses on his paradigm shifting studies that detailed the previously unknown extracellular peptidase activity of the enzyme LTA4H. The classical role of LTA4H is as a hydrolase in the intracellular generation of the pro-inflammatory neutrophil chemoattractant leukotriene B4 (LTB4). Therefore LTA4H is an enzyme with opposing pro-inflammatory (LTB4 generation) and anti-inflammatory (PGP degradation) roles, and the expression and relative activities of this enzyme will be critical in dictating the amplitude and persistence of neutrophilic inflammation. LTA4H inhibitors have received significant clinical interest to reduce LTB4 and alleviate immune mediated pathologies, but may inadvertently prevent PGP degradation with dangerous repercussions. His research seeks to further dissect the opposing roles of LTA4H in dictating neutrophilic inflammation and develop novel therapeutic strategies.

Dr Snelgrove has been awarded a prize for his work from the Clinical Immunology and Allergy section of the Royal Society of Medicine and was recently selected as one of around five hundred of the best young researchers around the world to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting; a prestigious event that provides a forum for the best young scientists to discuss their research with like minded individuals and Nobel Laureates. He routinely peer reviews manuscripts for journals including PLOSone, Clinical and Experimental Allergy, Immunology, Thorax and The European Journal of Pharmacology and grants for The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Dr Snelgrove is extremely keen to promote an enthusiasm and understanding of scientific research both to aspiring scientists and the general public as a whole. He has been responsible for the supervision of several undergraduate, MSc and graduate students’ research projects, supervised undergraduate student practicals and taught undergraduate students. He is routinely invited to present his work at academic institutes and international conferences. He has given presentations at schools, helped organise a workshop at Imperial College with Exscitec to introduce school children to scientific research, and a two day demonstration at the Science Museum on immunity and vaccination. Whilst in the US, he spoke at a Children’s Health Informative Meeting detailing his work to a clinical audience that work with respiratory disease in infants with the aim of promoting translational research. He has written two magazine articles for distribution amongst medical, technological and business operatives to facilitate understanding about his area of research. He has also actively facilitated the dissemination of his research through press releases and interviews with press organisations that have led to global press coverage.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Dean CH, Snelgrove RJ, 2018, New Rules for Club Development: New Insights into Human Small Airway Epithelial Club Cell Ontogeny and Function, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:198, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:1355-1356

Snelgrove RJ, Patel DF, Patel T, et al., 2018, The enigmatic role of the neutrophil in asthma: Friend, foe or indifferent?, Clinical and Experimental Allergy, Vol:48, ISSN:0954-7894, Pages:1275-1285

Patel DF, Peiro T, Shoemark A, et al., 2018, An extracellular matrix fragment drives epithelial remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness, Science Translational Medicine, Vol:10, ISSN:1946-6234

Snelgrove RJ, Lloyd CM, 2018, Tasting type 2 inflammation in the airways, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol:142, ISSN:0091-6749, Pages:403-404

Lloyd CM, Snelgrove RJ, 2018, Type 2 immunity: Expanding our view, Science Immunology, Vol:3, ISSN:2470-9468

Patel DF, Snelgrove RJ, 2018, The multifaceted roles of the matrikine Pro-Gly-Pro in pulmonary health and disease, European Respiratory Review, Vol:27, ISSN:0905-9180

Bell TJ, Brand OJ, Morgan DJ, et al., 2018, Defective lung function following influenza virus is due to prolonged, reversible hyaluronan synthesis., Matrix Biol

Snelgrove RJ, Lloyd CM, 2017, An NLRP3, IL-1 beta, Neutrophil Axis in the Respiratory Tract Leaves You Breathless, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:196, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:253-254

Weiss G, Lai C, Fife ME, et al., 2017, Reversal of TREM-1 ectodomain shedding and improved bacterial clearance by intranasal metalloproteinase inhibitors, Mucosal Immunology, Vol:10, ISSN:1933-0219, Pages:1021-1030

Low CM, Akthar S, Patel DF, et al., 2017, The development of novel LTA(4)H modulators to selectively target LTB4 generation, Scientific Reports, Vol:7, ISSN:2045-2322

Baker K, Raemdonck K, Dekkak B, et al., 2016, Role of the ion channel, transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1), in allergic asthma, Respiratory Research, Vol:17, ISSN:1465-993X

Akthar S, Patel DF, Beale RC, et al., 2015, Matrikines are key regulators in modulating the amplitude of lung inflammation in acute pulmonary infection, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723

Castanhinha S, Sherburn R, Walker S, et al., 2015, Pediatric severe asthma with fungal sensitization is mediated by steroid-resistant IL-33, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol:136, ISSN:0091-6749, Pages:312-+

Sanders RD, Grover V, Goulding J, et al., 2015, Immune cell expression of GABA(A) receptors and the effects of diazepam on influenza infection, Journal of Neuroimmunology, Vol:282, ISSN:0165-5728, Pages:97-103

Stack G, Jones E, Marsden M, et al., 2015, CD200 Receptor Restriction of Myeloid Cell Responses Antagonizes Antiviral Immunity and Facilitates Cytomegalovirus Persistence within Mucosal Tissue, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:11, ISSN:1553-7366

Snelgrove RJ, Gregory LG, Peiro T, et al., 2014, Alternaria-derived serine protease activity drives IL-33-mediated asthma exacerbations, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol:134, ISSN:0091-6749, Pages:583-+

Snelgrove R, Kheradmand F, 2014, Leukotriene A(4) Hydrolase: The Janus Enzyme Shows Its Ugly Side in Smokers, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:190, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:5-7

Eltom S, Dale N, Raemdonck KRG, et al., 2014, Respiratory Infections Cause the Release of Extracellular Vesicles: Implications in Exacerbation of Asthma/COPD, PLOS One, Vol:9, ISSN:1932-6203

Stacey MA, Marsden M, Pham TAN, et al., 2014, Neutrophils Recruited by IL-22 in Peripheral Tissues Function as TRAIL-Dependent Antiviral Effectors against MCMV, Cell Host & Microbe, Vol:15, ISSN:1931-3128, Pages:471-483

Findlay EG, Danks L, Madden J, et al., 2014, OX40L blockade is therapeutic in arthritis, despite promoting osteoclastogenesis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:111, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:2289-2294

Baker KE, Raemdonck K, Dale N, et al., 2014, Determination Of The Key Effector Cells Involved In The Late Asthmatic Response, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:189, ISSN:1073-449X

Sanders RD, Godlee A, Fujimori T, et al., 2013, Benzodiazepine Augmented gamma-Amino-Butyric Acid Signaling Increases Mortality From Pneumonia in Mice, Critical Care Medicine, Vol:41, ISSN:0090-3493, Pages:1627-1636

Eltom S, Dale N, Raemdonck K, et al., 2013, Role Of Extracellular Vesicles In The Exacerbations Of Asthma And COPD, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:187, ISSN:1073-449X

Hussell T, Godlee A, Salek-Ardakani S, et al., 2012, Respiratory viral infections: knowledge based therapeutics, Current Opinion in Immunology, Vol:24, ISSN:0952-7915, Pages:438-443

Hardison MT, Brown MD, Snelgrove RJ, et al., 2012, Cigarette smoke enhances chemotaxis via acetylation of proline-glycine-proline., Front Biosci (elite Ed), Vol:4, Pages:2402-2409

Snelgrove RJ, Cornere MM, Edwards L, et al., 2012, OX40 Ligand Fusion Protein Delivered Simultaneously With the BCG Vaccine Provides Superior Protection Against Murine Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol:205, ISSN:0022-1899, Pages:975-983

Snelgrove RJ, 2012, Pulmonary innate lymphoid cells regulate repair and remodeling after acute lung injury, Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy, Vol:10, ISSN:1478-7210, Pages:281-284


Humphreys IR, Stacey MA, Marsden M, et al., 2014, Neutrophils recruited by IL-22 in peripheral tissues function as TRAIL-dependent antiviral effectors against MCMV, 2nd Annual Meeting of the International-Cytokine-and-Interferon-Society (ICIS), ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Pages:48-49, ISSN:1043-4666

Bell TJ, Snelgrove RJ, Hussell T, 2013, Accumulation of airway hyaluronic acid after influenza infection: consequences for innate immunity, Annual Congress of the British-Society-for-Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:86-87, ISSN:0019-2805

Stack G, Marsden M, Stacey M, et al., 2013, CD200 receptor signalling facilitates murine cytomegalovirus persistence in mucosal tissue, Annual Congress of the British-Society-for-Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:30-30, ISSN:0019-2805

Stacey MA, Marsden M, Dolton G, et al., 2013, Neutrophils deliver TRAIL mediated protection from acute cytomegalovirus infection, Annual Congress of the British-Society-for-Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:114-114, ISSN:0019-2805

Stacey M, Marsden M, Dolton G, et al., 2013, IL-22 driven neutrophils afford critical protection from acute murine cytomegalovirus infection, 100th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Immunologists, AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS, ISSN:0022-1767

Fujimori T, Snelgrove R, Hussell T, 2013, TAM receptors and their role in the regulation of lung innate immunity, 100th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Immunologists, AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS, ISSN:0022-1767

Fujimori T, Snelgrove R, Hussell T, 2012, TAM receptors and their role in the regulation of lung innate immunity, European Congress of Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:219-219, ISSN:0019-2805

Bell TJ, Snelgrove RJ, Hussell T, 2012, Increased hyaluronic acid in the airway following influenza infection contributes to heightened susceptibility to secondary bacterial infection, European Congress of Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:215-216, ISSN:0019-2805

Marsden M, Stacey MA, Jones E, et al., 2011, CD200 receptor signaling promotes the establishment of virus persistence in mucosal tissue through inhibition of innate immunity, Annual Congress of the British-Society-for-Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:200-200, ISSN:0019-2805

Stacey MA, Marsden M, Dolton G, et al., 2011, A tissue-restricted antiviral function of interleukin-22 in murine cytomegalovirus infection, Annual Congress of the British-Society-for-Immunology, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages:119-119, ISSN:0019-2805

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