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Professor Ed Lavelle

Prof/ Course Co-Ordinator (Biochemistry)

I am an Immunologist and was Head of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology from 2017-2020. I have engaged at teaching at many levels in Universities in Ireland and the U.K. In particular, since October 2004 I have worked as a lecturer, senior lecturer and Professor in Immunology in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. In addition to delivering lectures and tutorials to junior and senior sophister students, I have also lectured to students enrolled on the MSc courses in Molecular Medicine, Immunology and Translational Oncology. I was also previously engaged in lecturing at TCD and at the University of Nottingham (England). I have supervised student projects from diploma to Masters degree level and have supervised 21 PhD students to completion. I have was President of the Irish Society for Immunology from 2012-2020, organised a number of National and International conferences, chaired sessions on Immunology and vaccines for a number of national and international conferences and acted as a peer reviewer for leading Immunology journals and for funding bodies in both the EU and the USA. Since acquiring my PhD in 1994, my research has been principally in the fields of Immunology and vaccine adjuvant development. The projects I have worked on have included the piscine mucosal immune system, the use of biodegradable micro and nanoparticles as vaccine adjuvants and the evaluation of plant lectins as bioadhesives, immunogens and immunomodulators. During this time I acquired broad expertise that is applicable to the range of projects I am now engaged in and will pursue in the future. In recent years my principal research interest has been the elucidation of the mechanism of action of adjuvants and immunomodulators. In particular I have focused on on particulate vaccine adjuvants including biodegradable microparticles, alum and the cationic polysaccharide chitosan. This work includes basic research into the mechanism by which these systems activate the immune system and more applied work on the optimisation of these adjuvants for use in injectable and mucosal vaccines. The fundamental adjuvant research includes studies into the cell signalling pathways induced by these molecules which will facilitate a better understanding of their mode(s) of action. In addition, over the past number of years my team have worked closely with our collaborators within AMBER to address the potential of novel biomaterials to drive beneficial immune responses underpinning tissue regeneration. Across all of our activities we depend on building and sustaining close collaborations with national and international academic and industrial collaborators.
  ADENYLYL-CYCLASE ACTIVITY   ADJUVANTS   cAMP   Cell Death   CREB   IL-10   Immune System   Immunity   Immunology, Immunotherapy   Immunophysiology   Inflammation   LECTIN-BINDING   LECTINS   Life Sciences   Nanotechnology   NF-kappaB   Signal Transduction   Signal Transduction (Sensory/Cellular)   SIGNAL-TRANSDUCTION   SIGNAL-TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS   Toll-Like Receptors   VACCINE   VACCINE EFFICACY   Vaccines
 Tailored design of nanoparticulate adjuvants to enhance vaccine induced cellular immunity
 Adjuvants targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome and STING for improved cancer immunotherapy.
 Potential of oral cyclosporine to treat extra-intestinal diseases
 Sugar coating immunity for enhancement of biomaterials.
 Irish Society for Immunology meeting 2018.

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Details Date
Chair of the Steering committee for the Centre for Global Vaccine Research, University of Liverpool, U.K. (2017-2020).
Main organiser of 9 Immunology meetings including the Irish Society for Immunology meetings (2013-2020; average attendance 160-200 participants) and the European Mucosal Immunology Group (EMIG) 2012 meeting (300 participants), held in Dublin.
Member of the advisory board for the EU funded ITN, PHA-ST-TRAIN-VAC between the University of Strathclyde and GSK Vaccines (2017-2019).
National representative and member of the core group of the COST Action ENOVA (European Network of Vaccine adjuvants) 2018-2022.
Member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for 13 international conferences since 2006.
Won the bid to host the 2024 European Congress of Immunology in Dublin in 2024. I will lead the committee in planning for this meeting for the coming 5 years.
Member of the Editorial Board of Biochemical Pharmacology and Frontiers in Immunology
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Medium Medium
Irish Medium Medium Medium
Spanish Basic Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Irish Society for Immunology (President 2008-2020) 2005 (member) 2022
Committee member of the Vaccine committee for the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS). 2018 2022
European Federation of Immunology Societies 2005 2022
International Society of Vaccines 2019 2022
Society for Mucosal Immunology 2006 2022
The American Association of Immunologists 2018 2022
European Adjuvant Advisory Group 2007 2008
Muñoz-Wolf, N. and Ward, R.W. and Hearnden, C.H. and Sharp, F.A. and Geoghegan, J. and O'Grady, K. and McEntee, C.P. and Shanahan, K.A. and Guy, C. and Bowie, A.G. and Campbell, M. and Roces, C.B. and Anderluzzi, G. and Webb, C. and Perrie, Y. and Creagh, E. and Lavelle, E.C., Non-canonical inflammasome activation mediates the adjuvanticity of nanoparticles, Cell Reports Medicine, 4, (1), 2023, Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Huete-Carrasco J, Lavelle EC., Immunostimulatory nanoparticles go viral., Nature materials, 22, (3), 2023, p273-275 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Lynch RI, Lavelle EC., Immuno-modulatory biomaterials as anti-inflammatory therapeutics., Biochemical pharmacology, 197, 2022, p114890 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Turley, J.L. and Lavelle, E.C., Resolving adjuvant mode of action to enhance vaccine efficacy, Current Opinion in Immunology, 77, (102229), 2022, Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Sullivan, G.P. and Davidovich, P. and Muñoz-Wolf, N. and Ward, R.W. and Hernandez Santana, Y.E. and Clancy, D.M. and Gorman, A. and Najda, Z. and Turk, B. and Walsh, P.T. and Lavelle, E.C. and Martin, S.J., Myeloid cell-derived proteases produce a proinflammatory form of IL-37 that signals via IL-36 receptor engagement, Science immunology, 7, (78), 2022, peade5728 , Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Lavelle, E.C. and Ward, R.W., Mucosal vaccines â€" fortifying the frontiers, Nature Reviews Immunology, 2021, Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Turley JL, Lavelle EC., Fatballs foster fabulous follicles., Immunity, 54, (12), 2021, p2695-2697 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Dowling JK, Afzal R, Gearing LJ, Cervantes-Silva MP, Annett S, Davis GM, De Santi C, Assmann N, Dettmer K, Gough DJ, Bantug GR, Hamid FI, Nally FK, Duffy CP, Gorman AL, Liddicoat AM, Lavelle EC, Hess C, Oefner PJ, Finlay DK, Davey GP, Robson T, Curtis AM, Hertzog PJ, Williams BRG, McCoy CE , Mitochondrial arginase-2 is essential for IL-10 metabolic reprogramming of inflammatory macrophages, Nature Communications, 12, (1), 2021, p1460-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Turley, J.L. and Moran, H.B.T. and McEntee, C.P. and O'Grady, K. and Muñoz-Wolf, N. and Jin, L. and Follmann, F. and Andersen, P. and Andersson, M. and Lavelle, E.C., Chitin-derived polymer deacetylation regulates mitochondrial reactive oxygen species dependent cGAS-STING and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, Biomaterials, 275, (120961), 2021, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Albutti, A. and Longet, S. and McEntee, C.P. and Quinn, S. and Liddicoat, A. and Rîmniceanu, C. and Lycke, N. and Lynch, L. and Cardell, S. and Lavelle, E.C., Type ii nkt cell agonist, sulfatide, is an effective adjuvant for oral heat-killed cholera vaccines, Vaccines, 9, (6), 2021, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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Award Date
Elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) 2021
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (FTCD) 2012
Elected President of the European Congress of Immunology 2024 (ECI2024) 2021
Elected President of the Irish Society for Immunology 2012
Made an ambassador of the Dublin Convention Centre 2018
I am an internationally recognised leader in the field of vaccine adjuvants with a record of publishing high impact papers, attracting competitive research funding, generating and protecting intellectual property, engaging industrial partners and the public, organising conferences and adopting advisory roles. Adjuvants are essential components of vaccines that can profoundly enhance protective immune responses and specifically can affect the magnitude and type of vaccine -induced innate and adaptive immunity. My research is principally focused on how vaccine adjuvants enhance protective immune responses against infection and cancer. My group has made key discoveries that enhance our understanding of how the physicochemical properties of adjuvants influence the induction of innate and adaptive immunity. We have provided major new insights into how adjuvants engage innate cellular sensing pathways, particularly DNA sensing pathways and inflammasomes, pursuing the specific roles of interferons and cytokines of the IL-1 family in adjuvanticity. We have developed novel particulate vaccine adjuvants (IP filed, new start up in cancer vaccines launched - AilseVax). We have worked on developing an effective oral delivery system that has significant potential for vaccines against ETEC, cholera and Helicobacter pylori. The expertise we have developed in assessing particulate adjuvant regulation of immune responses also has relevance in the field of biomaterial interaction with the immune system. As a result, I have a substantial research programme in this area as part of the AMBER centre. Being a CRANN PI and an AMBER funded investigator has led to close connections with colleagues in Bioengineering, Chemistry and Physics and this cross-disciplinary dimension places my research in a unique position within Ireland. This allows me to pursue how particulate materials can regulate immune responses and how fundamental understanding of the underlying processes can help us to rationally design novel vaccine adjuvant systems but also enhanced biomaterials. My work at Trinity has been transformational over the past 17 years in establishing that nonmicrobial particulate adjuvants can be designed to activate specific innate sensing and signalling pathways and that this can be harnessed to induce and direct adaptive immune responses. This has led to publications in the leading journals in the field, many since my last promotion in 2015. The impact of my work can be seen in invitations to speak at the leading meetings in the field (111 invited conference talks and seminars since 2004), to serve on scientific advisory boards for conferences (15), to serve as chair on the advisory board of a vaccine centre in the U.K., to act as a consultant for leading (Merck, GSK, HIPRA) vaccine companies, to write reviews, commentaries and editorials and to serve as a panel member for prestigious grant agencies (e.g. Gates Foundation, German Centres of Excellence Programme). Being recognised as an authority in vaccine adjuvant research together with the global prominence of this field makes it likely that my influence will grow, generating many new research opportunities over the coming years.