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Professor Kingston Mills

Professor (Biochemistry)

Kingston Mills is Professor of Experimental Immunology, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He is Head of The Centre for the Study of Immunology at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and Theme Champion for Immunology, Inflammation and Infection at TCD. He is a graduate of TCD and trained at as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London and the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, before joining the Scientific Staff of NIBSC, Herts, UK. He returned to Ireland in 1993 to take up an academic position at National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He was appointed to a Personal Chair at Trinity College Dublin in 2001 and was Head of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology from 2008-2011. He heads an active research team focusing on T cells in infection, autoimmunity and cancer. He is co-founder of Opsona Therapeutics and TriMod Therapeutics, biotech companies focusing on the development of immunotherapeutics for inflammatory diseases and cancer.
 The local immune response to a respiratory pathogen
 Investigations on the mechanism of immunity to B. pertussis in a murine model
 Programme EVA "Vaccine Delivery systems for the selective induction of cellular immune responses with candidate HIV vaccines
 T cell responses to Bordetella pertussis in children and the development of an acellular pertussis vaccine
 Cellular immune responses to HIV

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Details Date
Member, Irish Branch Committee of the Society for General Microbiology. 1994-1997
Member, Immunology & Pathology Committee of the Health Research Board. 1994-2000
Irish representative at the International Union of Immunological Societies and the European Federation of Immunology Societies. 1994-1998
Member, Expert Committee on Blood Products and Vaccines of Irish Medicines Board. 1996-2001
Member, WHO International Committee on DNA Vaccines. 1996-2000
Member, Life Sciences / Biotechnology Panel, Enterprise Ireland Strategic and Basic Research Grant schemes. 1996-2002
Member, National Committee for Biochemistry of the Royal Irish Academy. 1997-2001
Member, Editorial Board of European Federation of Microbiology Societies, Immunology and Medical Microbiology. 1998-2013
Member, Infection & Immunity Committee of British Society for Immunology. 1998-present
Member, World Health Organization Working Group on Pertussis Vaccines. 1998-2000
Member of Microbiology and Mechanisms of Infectious Disease and Host Defence Committee of the Health Research Board. 2001-
Member expert committee on Medical Devices, Irish Medicines Board. 2001-
Member of Board of Management of the Adelaide Hospital of The Adelaide, Meath and National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin. 2002-
Member of Scientific Advisory Committee of Science Foundation Ireland. 2002-2003
Chairman of Infection & Immunity Group of the British Society for Immunology. 2002-
Chair an Expert Group established by the Minister for Health and Children to examine processes to ensure continuing quality of vaccine products. 2003
Member of Life Science Committee of Royal Irish Academy. 2003-2004
Panel Chairman, Science Foundation Ireland Basic Research Grants. 2004
Member of the Wellcome Trust Immunology and Infectious Disease Committee 2003-2006
Member of the Editorial Board of Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2005-2013
Associate Editor. The Journal of Immunology 2007-2011
Member of the Editorial Board. Immunology and Cell Biology 2013-
Section Editor, The Journal of Immunology 2012-present
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
American Association of Immunologists 2006-
American Society for Microbiology
International Society for Mucosal Immunology
British Society for Immunology
British and Irish Society for General Microbiology
Biochemical Society
Irish Research Scientists Association
Irish Society for Immunology
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
Institute of Biology of Ireland
Member, UK MRC Committee on Vaccines & Immunization Procedures 1991 1995
Member, Irish Branch Committee of the Society for General Microbiology 1994 1997
Member, Irish Area Committee of The Biochemical Society. 1998 2001
Edwards S.C, Higgins S.C, Mills K.H.G, Respiratory infection with a bacterial pathogen attenuates CNS autoimmunity through IL-10 induction, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 50, 2015, p41 - 46, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Oficjalska K1, Raverdeau M1, Aviello G2, Wade SC1, Hickey A1, Sheehan KM3, Corr SC1, Kay EW3, O'Neill LA1, Mills KH1, Creagh EM4., Protective Role for Caspase-11 during Acute Experimental Murine Colitis., Journal of Immunology, 194, (3), 2015, p1252-1260 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Coll, R.C. Robertson, A.A.B. Chae, J.J. Higgins, S.C. Muñoz-Planillo, R. Inserra, M.C. Vetter, I. Dungan, L.S. Monks, B.G. Stutz, A. Croker, D.E. Butler, M.S. Haneklaus, M. Sutton, C.E. Núñez, G. Latz, E. Kastner, D.L. Mills, K.H.G. Masters, S.L. Schroder, K. Cooper, M.A. O'Neill, L.A.J., A small-molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, Nature Medicine, 21, (3), 2015, p248 - 257, Notes: [Cited By :2 Export Date: 9 April 2015], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Bernard NJ, Finlay CM, Tannahill GM, Cassidy JP, O'Neill LA, Mills KH, A critical role for the TLR signaling adapter Mal in alveolar macrophage-mediated protection against Bordetella pertussis., Mucosal immunology, 8, (5), 2015, p982 - 992, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Dunne A, Mielke LA, Allen AC, Sutton CE, Higgs R, Cunningham CC, Higgins SC, Mills KH, A novel TLR2 agonist from Bordetella pertussis is a potent adjuvant that promotes protective immunity with an acellular pertussis vaccine., Mucosal immunology, 8, (3), 2015, p607-617 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Flood, B., Oficjalska, K., Laukens, D., Fay, J., Mills, K.H., Sheahan, K., Ryan, E.J., Doherty, G.A., Kay, E.W. and Creagh, E.M. , Altered Expression of Caspases-4 and -5 during Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colorectal Cancer - Novel Diagnostic and Therapeutic Potential. , Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 181, (1), 2015, p39-50 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
McManus R.M, Mills K.H.G, Lynch M.A, T Cells-Protective or Pathogenic in Alzheimer-s Disease?, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, PMID 25957956, 2015, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Basdeo SA, Moran B, Cluxton D, Canavan M, McCormick J, Connolly M, Orr C, Mills KH, Veale DJ, Fearon U, Fletcher JM, Polyfunctional, Pathogenic CD161+ Th17 Lineage Cells Are Resistant to Regulatory T Cell-Mediated Suppression in the Context of Autoimmunity., Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 195, (2), 2015, p528-40 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Brummelman J, Wilk MM, Han WG, van Els CA, Mills KH, Roads to the development of improved pertussis vaccines paved by immunology., Pathogens and disease, 73, (8), 2015, pftv067 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Edwards SC, McGinley AM, McGuinness NC, Mills KH, "" T Cells and NK Cells - Distinct Pathogenic Roles as Innate-Like Immune Cells in CNS Autoimmunity., Frontiers in immunology, 6, 2015, p455 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Mills, K.H.G., Mahon, B., Griffin, F., Ryan, M, Genetic Institute / Wyeth, IL-12 as an adjuvant for Bordetella pertussis vaccines., 2005, US patent application 11/071,352. Pub No US2005/0158276 A1; US6929794 - 2005-08-16; US2005158276 - 2005-07-21; JP2005112865 - 2005-04-28., Patent, PUBLISHED
Mills, K.H.G., Keogh, B and McGuirk, P, Methods for suppressing immune responses to biological agents. , 2004, UK patent application, Patent, SUBMITTED


Award Date
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Doctor award in Respiratory Medicine and best overall paper 2014
Laboratory Scientist of the year and Laboratory of the year, Irish Lab awards 2013
Elected to Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin 2004
Royal Irish Academy Award in Biochemistry 2004
Inaugural Annual Award of Irish Society for Immunology 2002
Awarded Graves Medal and present the 39th Annual Graves Lecture 1999
Elected to membership of the Institute of Biology of Ireland 1996
Elected Fellow of The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 1994
Elected to fellowship of The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 1994
Merit award of rapid promotion to Senior Scientist scale 1991
Young scientist award from International Union of Immunology Societies 1986
Awarded fellowship by International Network of Immunology 1987
Awarded EURATOM travelling fellowship 1977
Elected Student of the year, Wilson's Hospital, Secondary School 1972
A major interest of my research is to understand the effector immune responses that protect us against infection and cancer and how, when uncontrolled this can lead to autoimmune diseases. I am particularly interested the factors that affect the induction, of the distinct subpopulations of CD4+ T cells, termed Th1, Th2 and T regulatory (Treg) and Th17 cells, and the role of innate immune system, in particular dendritic cells, in directing T cell responses. The work has direct application to the development of new or improved vaccines and includes studies on Bordetella pertussis, Fasciola hepatica, influenza virus and hepatitis C virus. In the last number of years my group has focused on immune regulation and immune modulation by pathogens. This has been made possible through PI and Strategic research cluster (SRC) awards from Science Foundation Ireland. The aims are to examine the role of pathogen-derived molecules in modulating immune responses, with particular reference to the induction, regulation and function of T cell subtypes and the induction and control of inflammatory responses. Our hypothesis is that the study of immunomodulation by microbial pathogens is an ideal approach to understand mechanisms of protective immunity and immunoregulation in vivo and will allow the identification and characterization of novel immunomodulatory molecules with potential as therapies for immune mediated diseases. We have identified molecules capable of specifically suppressing or enhancing immune response that regulate or mediate certain human diseases. The application of this research is the development of new or improved vaccines against infectious diseases, active immunotherapeutics against cancer and anti-inflammatory therapeutics against autoimmune diseases. A recent SFI PI award on 'the role of regulatory T cell control of pathogenic and effector T cells and their manipulation as potential therapies for human disease' is focused on the interface between innate and adaptive immunity, specifically how we can manipulate dendritic cells to selectively alter the balance of regulatory (Treg) versus effector (Th1 or Th2) or pathogenic (Th17). Our aim is to design new approaches to treat autoimmunity by enhancing induction of Treg which suppress Th17 cells and to develop new infectious diseases vaccines and cancer immunotherapeutics by enhancing induction of Th1 and Th2 cells, while inhibiting Treg cells.