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Cambridge Immunology Network



Our main goal is to understand how immune cells make important decisions relative to proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. These events are the basis for lasting immunological protection which underpins effective vaccination. Understanding these processes is also not only fundamental for public health but also for treating autoimmunity and cancer. The emergence of miRNAs as regulators of gene expression and their potential role as tumour suppressors or oncogenes is likely to have an impact on gene therapies designed to block tumour progression. Understanding how the expression of miRNAs is regulated, which cellular function they influence and the identification of their molecular targets under normal conditions is therefore essential to identify their role in cancer. We address these questions by using an integrative approach combining cellular biology, biochemical and bioinformatics methodologies to provide mechanistic insights on miRNA function in the immune system.


Key publications: 

Lu D, Nakagawa R, Lazzaro S, Staudacher P, Abreu-Goodger C, HenleyT, Boiani S, LeylandR, Galloway A, Andrews S, ButcherG, NuttSL, Turner M, VigoritoE (2014) The miR-155/PU.1 axis acts on Pax5 to enable efficient B cell differentiation Journal of Experimental Medicine 211(11) 2183-98.

Turner M, Galloway A, Vigorito E. Noncoding RNA and its associated proteins as regulatory elements of the immune system. Nat Immunol. 2014 15(6):484-91. doi: 10.1038/ni.2887.

Vigorito E, Kohlhaas S, Lu D, Leyland R. miR-155: an ancient regulator of the immune system. Immunol Rev. 2013 253(1):146-57

Torres AG, Fabani MM, Vigorito E, Gait MJ MicroRNA fate upon targeting with anti-miRNA oligonucleotides as revealed by an improved Northern-blot-based method for miRNA detection. RNA 2011 17 933-943

Fabani MM, Abreu-Goodger C, Williams D, Lyons PA, Torres AG, Smith KGC, Enright AJ, Gait MJ, Vigorito E Efficient inhibition of miR-155 function in vivo by peptide nucleic acids. Nucleic Acids Research 2010 38 4466-4475

Kohlhaas S, Garden OA, Scudamore C, Turner M, Okkenhaug K, Vigorito E. Cutting edge: the Foxp3 target miR-155 contributes to the development of regulatory T cells. J Immunol. 2009 Mar 1;182(5):2578-82.

Turner M, Vigorito E , Regulation of B- and T-cell differentiation by a single microRNA. Biochem Soc Trans 2008, 36(Pt 3):531 3:

Vigorito E, Perks KL, Abreu-Goodger C, Bunting S, Xiang Z, Kohlhaas S, Das PP, Miska EA, Rodriguez A, Bradley A, Smith KG, Rada C, Enright AJ, Toellner KM, Maclennan IC, Turner M, (2007) microRNA-155 regulates the generation of immunoglobulin class-switched plasma cells. Immunity. 27:847–59.

Rodriguez A*, Vigorito E*, Clare S, Warren MV, Couttet P, Soond DR, van Dongen S, Grocock RJ, Das PP, Miska EA, Vetrie D, Okkenhaug K, Enright AJ, Dougan G, Turner M, Bradley A, (2007) Requirement of bic/microRNA-155 for normal immune function. Science. 316:608–11. * equal contribution

Dr Elena  Vigorito
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
B cells
co-stimulatory molecules
statistical analysis
T cell receptor (TCR)
B cell receptor (BCR)
enzyme assays
T cells
affinity maturation
human studies
antibody responses
animal models
helper T cells
isotype switching
cell culture
regulatory T cells
immune complexes
somatic hypermutation