Understanding where, how and why immune cells become altered in the response to cancer


David Withers studied for a PhD in Immunology focused on the recovery of the bursa to viral infection, at the Institute for Animal Health/University of Bristol (2000-2004). After obtaining his PhD, David continued his studies of B cell responses in the laboratory of Dr Peter Lipsky at NIAMS, NIH, Bethesda (2004-2006). He then returned to the UK to study with Professor Peter Lane at the University of Birmingham, UK, cementing his interest in how interactions within secondary lymphoid tissue control adaptive immune responses. In 2011, David was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship investigating the role of innate lymphoid cells in regulating memory T cell responses. In 2016, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, further developing his studies of how innate lymphoid cells regulate adaptive immunity. Most recently, his research has developed to consider the regulation of anti-tumour immunity, exploiting novel in vivo models and supported by Cancer Research UK, the Cancer Research Institute, Worldwide Cancer Research and the MRC. This focus on cancer immunology and how the anti-tumour T cell response might be enhanced now dominates research in the Withers Lab, supported by recent substantial funding (Wellcome Discovery Award, Cancer Research UK Programme).