Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Research Associate







8.N20Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





Steff Ascough is an immunologist in the Department of Infectious Disease. She received her PhD from Imperial College London on the immunology of Anthrax and Plague, mapping T cell epitopes in the context of vaccine design. She conducted research on Filariasis and Onchocerciasis in The Gambia with the Tropical Parasitic Diseases Unit, NPIMR, UCL on a research grant from The Gates Foundation, before continuing vaccine focussed research with the Avian Viral Immunology Group, at The Pirbright Institute. This research concentrated on the correlation of immunogenicity with microarray analysis of vector virus mutants to improve live recombinant poxvirus vaccines against H5N1.

She is currently an academic immunologist in the Department of Infectious Disease, responsible for the laboratory aspects of early phase clinical vaccine trials as well as experimental infection challenges carried out within the group. Using clinical samples from trial participants, she investigates innate, humoral and cell-mediated immunity in respiratory viral infections, including influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Specifically, focusing on developing, optimising and validating assays to define novel correlates of protection that will enable us to design more effective vaccines against these viral pathogens.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Ascough S, Ingram RJ, Chu KKY, et al., 2022, Impact of HLA polymorphism on the immune response to bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vaccination versus natural infection, Vaccines, Vol:10, ISSN:2076-393X, Pages:1-17

Ascough S, Dayananda P, Kalyan M, et al., 2022, Divergent age-related humoral correlates of protection against respiratory syncytial virus infection in older and young adults: a pilot, controlled, human infection challenge model, The Lancet Healthy Longevity, Vol:3, ISSN:2666-7568, Pages:E405-E416

Paterson S, Kar S, Ung SK, et al., 2021, Innate-like gene expression of lung-resident memory CD8+ T-cells during experimental human influenza, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:204, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:826-841

Thwaites RS, Sanchez Sevilla Uruchurtu A, Siggins MK, et al., 2021, Inflammatory profiles across the spectrum of disease reveal a distinct role for GM-CSF in severe COVID-19, Science Immunology, Vol:6, ISSN:2470-9468, Pages:1-17

Guvenel A, Jozwik A, Ascough S, et al., 2020, Epitope-specific airway-resident CD4+ T-cell dynamics during experimental human RSV infection, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol:130, ISSN:0021-9738, Pages:523-538

Ascough S, Vlachantoni I, Kalyan M, et al., 2019, Local and systemic immunity against RSV induced by a novel intranasal vaccine: A randomised, double- blind, placebo-controlled trial, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol:200, ISSN:1073-449X, Pages:481-492

Ascough S, Ingram RJ, Chu KK, et al., 2014, Anthrax Lethal Factor as an Immune Target in Humans and Transgenic Mice and the Impact of HLA Polymorphism on CD4(+) T Cell Immunity, PLOS Pathogens, Vol:10, ISSN:1553-7366

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