Professor Andrew Heath

Professor of Cellular Immunology

Department of Infection and Immunity
L Floor
The University of Sheffield Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)114 226 8634
Fax: +44 (0)114 226 8898
Secretary - Jean Lazenby
Tel: +44 (0)114 271 2237


I joined the University of Sheffield in 1994 having worked for 5 years in California, first at a start up parasite vaccine company, Paravax, and then at DNAX Inc. in Palo Alto. Prior to that I had post-doctoral positions in the Departments of Immunology at St GeorgeĀ“s and the Middlesex Hospital Medical Schools in London.

Research Interests

My research interests are centred on methods of enhancing immune responses to vaccination. Vaccines have massive potential not only ion the traditional areas of prevention of infectious diseases, but also as treatments for cancer and other non-infectious diseases. To fulfil this potential, immunogenicity needs to be increased, and immunological adjuvants need to be developed.  We have developed and patented two novel immunological adjuvants and are currently working on two more, one with the Thomas group and the other with the Sayers group in Sheffield.

A second interest is in investigating the causes of vaccine non-responsiveness which happens with some individuals.  We are particularly interested in subtle immune defects leading to susceptibility to infections with encapsulated bacteria such as Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae in both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals.  This work is in conjunction with Dr Thushan de Silva and with the Florey Institute in Sheffield.

Teaching Interests

I am the module leader for the MSc in Molecular Medicine Module "Modulating Immunity". I also teach on the MBChB course and am co-organiser for the new phase 2 immunology module with Dr Munitta Muthana.

Current Projects

  • Lymphoma Vaccine - work on a therapeutic vaccine for B lymphoma funded by Adjuvantix Ltd.
  • A novel vaccine against Group B meningococcus (funded by Meningitis Now).
  • An investigation into the causes of increased susceptibility to pneumococcal infection in HIV patients even following highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) which has restored CD4 numbers (with Dr Thushan de Silva and the Florey Institute, Sheffield).

Key Publications

  1. Carlring J, Szabo M, Dickinson R, DeLeenheer E, Heath AW.  Conjugation of lymphoma idiotype to CD40 antibody enhances lymphoma vaccine immunogenicity and anti-tumor effects.  Blood 2012, 119:2056-2065.
  2. Wing JB, Smart L, Borrow R, Findlow J, Findlow H, Lees A, Read RC, Heath AW.  Correlation of group C meningococcal conjugate vaccine response with B- and T-lymphocyte activity.  PLoS One 2012,  7(2):e31160.
  3. Darton TC, Wing JB, Lees A, Heath AW, Read RC.  Adult survivors of invasive pneumococcal disease exhibit defective B cell function.  Clin Infect Dis 2011, 52:1133-1136.
  4. Foster, RA, Carlring J, Lees A, Borrow R, Ramsay M, Kacsmarski E, Miller E, McKendrick MW, Heath AW, Read RC.  Functional T-cell deficiency in adolescents who experience serogroup C meningococcal disease despite receiving the meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine. Clin Vaccine Immunol 2010, 17:1104-1110.
  5. Carlring J, AlTaher HM, Clark S, Chen X, Latimer SL, Jenner T, Buckle AM, Heath AW.  CD154-CD40 interactions in the control of B cell hematopoiesis.  J Leuk Biol 2011, 89:697-706.
  6. Foster RA, Carlring J, McKendrick MW, Lees A, Borrow R, Read RC, Heath AW. Evidence of a functional B cell immunodeficiency in adults who experience serogroup C meningococcal disease. Clin Vac Immunol 2009, 6:692-698.
  7. Barr T, McCormick AL, Carlring J, Heath AW.  A potent adjuvant effect of CD40 antibody attached to antigen.  Immunology 2004, 109:87-91.
  8. Dullforce P, Sutton D, Heath AW.  Enhancement of T independent immune responses in vivo by CD40 antibodies.  Nature Medicine 1998, 4:88-91.
  9. Randall TD, Heath AW, Santo-Argumendo L, Howard MC, Lund FE.  Arrest of B lymphocyte differentiation by CD40 signalling: Mechanism for lack of antibody secreting cells in germinal centres.  Immunity 1998, 8:733-742.