Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Immunology







Chelsea and Westminster HospitalChelsea and Westminster Campus





I am a Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Immunology based in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction at Imperial College London.

I did my PhD at the University of Cambridge on NK cells in human pregnancy. I then went on to a post-doctoral project investigating the transcriptional control of NK cell development in mice, which I undertook at Imperial College London. In 2015, I was awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, which I used to start my own laboratory at the Royal Free Hospital Campus of UCL. Working closely with the liver transplant team, my group showed that long-lived resident NK cells are present in the human liver and defined some of that pathways by which they develop. We also showed that NK cells recruited to the liver become less functional in obesity-associated liver disease, and that this is associated with a decreased ability to clear cancer cells.

In 2019, I returned to Imperial. There, I was appointed as a Lecturer in Reproductive Immunology in 2021 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022. My research group is interested in how innate immune cells in the human uterus, particularly ILCs, are involved in the physiological processes of pregnancy and how this may fail in disorders of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia and pre-term birth. During the pandemic, I have also been involved in collating and communicating information on the effect of SARS-CoV2 infection and COVID vaccination on fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in research on how COVID vaccination affects the menstrual cycle.

Work in my laboratory is currently funded by Borne, the MRC, Action Medical Research and the Jameel Foundation. Previous work was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society and the Genesis Research Trust. Students or post-docs interested in my group's work should email me at

I lecture on Immunology of Pregnancy, Immunology of Transplantation, Viral Immunity and SARS-CoV2 Immunology, act as a mentor to a Windsor Fellow and do outreach in local primary schools.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Woon EV, Nikolaou D, Maclaran K, et al., 2023, Uterine NK cells underexpress KIR2DL1/S1 and LILRB1 in reproductive failure, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:13, ISSN:1664-3224, Pages:1-13

Male V, 2022, COVID-19 vaccination and menstruation, Science, Vol:378, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:704-706

Edelman A, Boniface ER, Male V, et al., 2022, Association between menstrual cycle length and covid-19 vaccination: global, retrospective cohort study of prospectively collected data, Bmj Medicine, Vol:1, ISSN:2754-0413, Pages:1-10

Alvergne A, Woon EV, Male V, 2022, Effect of COVID-19 vaccination on the timing and flow of menstrual periods in two cohorts, Frontiers in Reproductive Health, Vol:4, ISSN:2673-3153

Woon EV, Greer O, Shah N, et al., 2022, Number and function of uterine natural killer cells in recurrent miscarriage and implantation failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Human Reproduction Update, Vol:28, ISSN:1355-4786, Pages:548-582

Male V, Whettlock E, Woon EV, et al., 2022, Dynamic changes in uterine NK cell subset frequency and function over the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:13, ISSN:1664-3224

Male V, 2022, SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy, Nature Reviews Immunology, Vol:22, ISSN:1474-1733, Pages:277-282

Male V, 2021, Menstrual changes after covid-19 vaccination, Bmj, Vol:374, ISSN:1759-2151, Pages:1-2

Male V, 2021, Are COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnancy?, Nature Reviews Immunology, Vol:21, ISSN:1474-1733, Pages:200-201

Male V, Cuff AO, Silitto F, et al., 2019, The obese liver environment mediates conversion of NK cells to a less cytotoxic ILC1-like phenotype, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:10, ISSN:1664-3224, Pages:1-15

Cuff AO, Robertson FP, Stegmann KA, et al., 2016, Eomeshi NK cells in human liver are long-lived and do not recirculate but can be replenished from the circulation, Journal of Immunology, Vol:197, ISSN:1550-6606, Pages:4283-4291

Male V, Nisoli I, Kostrzewski T, et al., 2014, The transcription factor E4bp4/Nfil3 controls commitment to the NK lineage and directly regulates Eomes and Id2 expression, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol:211, ISSN:1540-9538, Pages:635-642

Male V, Sharkey A, Masters L, et al., 2011, The effect of pregnancy on the uterine NK cell KIR repertoire, European Journal of Immunology, Vol:41, ISSN:0014-2980, Pages:3017-3027

Male V, Hughes T, McClory S, et al., 2010, Immature NK Cells, Capable of Producing IL-22, Are Present in Human Uterine Mucosa, Journal of Immunology, Vol:185, ISSN:0022-1767, Pages:3913-3918

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