Dr Matthew Hepworth

by | 19 Jul 2022 | Manchester, Supervisors | 0 comments

Research profile and key clinical specialties

The Hepworth lab is primarily interested in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases as well as the emerging role of immunotherapies to treat an increasingly wide variety of clinical conditions, and has an emerging interest in multidisciplinary research at the boundaries of immunology and other disciplines, including neuroimmunology.

Work in the laboratory couples basic pre-clinical models of inflammatory disease with next generation technologies to understand the complex interplay between the immune system and environmental factors, such as the diet and commensal microbiota, in both health and disease.

We additionally aim to utilise translational proof-of-concept studies with human material and patient cohort samples, where possible, to inform future therapeutic strategies.

While classically focused on the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases within the so-called mucosal barrier tissues (for example, lung/asthma and GI tract/inflammatory bowel disease), we are also in the process of establishing new collaborations with colleagues in neuroscience and beyond to explore cross-disciplinary projects to better understand the role of the immune system in diseases of organs beyond these sites, such as the brain.

Candidates interested in multidisciplinary research areas, such as neuroimmunology, are also encouraged to contact the supervisor to discuss project opportunities.

Two key publications

  • Sonnenberg G.F and Hepworth M.R. Functional interactions between innate lymphoid cells and the adaptive immune system. Nature Reviews Immunology (2019) Oct;19(10):599-613 [PMID: 31350531]
  • Hepworth M.R., Fung T.C., Masur S.H., Kelsen J.R., MacConnell F.M., Dubrot J, Withers D.R., Hugues S, Farrar M.A., Reith W, Eberl G, Baldassano R.N., Laufer T.M., Elson C.O., Sonnenberg G.F. Group 3 innate lymphoid cells mediate intestinal selection of commensal bacteria-specific CD4+ T cells. Science (2015) 29 May 2015: 1031-1035. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa4812. [PMID: 25908663]

Possible PhD projects

  • Cross-talk of mucosal immune system and microbiota in metabolic and/or inflammatory diseases.
  • Emerging areas of neuroimmune interactions in clinically relevant diseases.

Additional information

Dr Matt Hepworth is a Sir Henry Dale fellow and Lister Prize recipient, as well as deputy lead for the Immune Tolerance branch of the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation.

The Hepworth lab has previously hosted a 4ward North clinical fellow and the candidate would join a thriving team of researchers with the opportunity to gain training and experience in a range of cutting edge technologies.


Keywords: neuroimmunology, chronic, inflammatory, diseases, immunotherapies, immune, lung, asthma, GI tract, Bowel Disease, diet, lymphoid, cells, microbiota, metabolic, Matthew, Hepworth, Manchester