Professor Paul Crocker


Emeritus Professor of Glycoimmunology

Cell Signalling and Immunology, School of Life Sciences

portrait of Paul Crocker
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Our research is aimed at understanding how immune cells utilise host glycans to regulate immune and inflammatory responses and translating this to human disease.  All cells of the body are covered in a dense coating of glycans attached to proteins and lipids, some of which can act as ligands for lectin-like receptors expressed by cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems.  We focus on the siglec family of sialic acid binding Ig-like lectins, many of which were discovered in my laboratory .

There are 15 siglecs in humans and 9 in mice, most of which are expressed in the immune system where they are thought to interact with host glycans to modulate immune and inflammatory responses.  Our recent work has dissected in vivo functions of sialoadhesin (siglec-1/CD169) in (a) regulating autoimmune disease via interactions with activation-induced ligands on different T cell subsets and (b) promoting phagocytosis of the sialylated pathogen Campylobacter jejuni and triggering of MyD88-dependent cytokine and type I IFN responses .  We have also recently discovered that murine  siglec-E is an important negative regulator of beta2 integrin-dependent neutrophil inflammation in the lung.

Our current work is aimed at molecular dissection of the signalling pathways and identification of cis- and trans binding partners for siglecs involved in these biological functions.

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Award Year
Major Personal Funding Awards / Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award 2014
Personal Fellowships / Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship 2007
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2006