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Herbert Sewell

Professor of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


Research Summary

My current research interests focuses mainly on translational human cancer studies. Working with collaborators in the universities interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer… read more

Selected Publications

Professor Herb F Sewell

The University of Nottingham - UK


Professor Sewell graduated from the University of Birmingham, where he gained a BDS with honours (part 1) and prizes and then obtained his MSc and PhD degrees. He subsequently qualified MB.ChB in Medicine with prizes (U of Leicester). Professor Sewell held appointments in the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Glasgow and Aberdeen before becoming Professor of Immunology at the University of Nottingham in 1990.

MB ChB, BDS, MSc, PhD, Hon DDS, Hon DSc, FRCP (L), M & FRCP &S (G), M & FRCPath, FMedSci.

Academic Appointments (current & recent)

Professor of Immunology, University of Nottingham 1990 - present.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Knowledge Transfer, 2002 - 2007.

Portfolios included: Chair of Bio-Medical Research Committee; Schools in the Faculty of Science; Information Services and E-learning/Knowledge; School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.Chair,2007-Notice Board- Company overseeing NU commercial interactions.

Academic Appointments/Honorary Consultant (previous)

University of Birmingham-MRC Research Fellow with Professor PGH Gell FRS.

University of Leicester - Registrar/Lecturer in Immunopathology.

University of Glasgow - Hon Consultant with Professors H Dick FRSE & M Timbury FRSE

University of Aberdeen - Senior Lecturer/Hon Consultant to Regius Professor F Walker 1985 - 1990.

Research Theme:

Current: Translational Cancer Research; in the Centre of Excellence on Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC): Deriving new methods for early cancer detection and diagnosis. Continued collaborative research in Human Allergy and Host response to Infections.

Research Funding sources over the past 10 years:

MRC, BBSRC, TSB, Biotechnology Industry, Wellcome Trust and other major peer reviewed AMRC sources.

2012-2014 Co-Applicant on a "Biomedical Catalyst grant" awarded to the University of Nottingham by UK MRC and the Technology Strategy Board. Value of award £400,000

2013 Co-Applicant on MRC CiC grant awarded (with Prof Robertson & Dr Tighe)~£103K

2008-2013 Co-Investigator on grant awarded by the UK National Institute for Health Research; for establishment of a Biomedical Research Unit in NUHT on Respiratory System Diseases; Value of award £6,000,000.

2002-2007 as Nottingham University Pro Vice Chancellor for Research headed several successful major institutional bids to support infrastructure/new builds and major equipment funding to support our world class Cancer (inc. Childrens Brain Tumour) and Stem cell research initiatives. Responsible for research strategy and Medical Faculty reorganisation/reconfiguration.

Scholarship & Research Publications:

Co-Author/Editor of Textbook: Essential Immunology for Surgeons (OUP) 2011

Author of various chapters in standard textbooks of medicine and immunology.

A total of c.130 peer reviewed papers/articles/have been published in leading specialist and general biomedical/scientific journals.

Reviewer and Referee:

2013-14 Nominated external reviewer for the Vice-Chancellors review of the School of Infection and Immunity, University of Birmingham.

Referee of grant and fellowship proposals for MRC, Cancer Research UK (CRC), Wellcome Trust, Academy of Medical Sciences etc.

Referee for national/international promotions in UK, USA and WI Higher Education Institutions.

National Health Service

Non-Executive Director NUH NHS Trust 2013-17 appointed by NHS TDA

Honorary Consultant Immunologist (1984 - present)

Clinical Director of Pathology Services (Nottingham University Hospital Trust -4th largest Trust in the UK) 2002-07. Chaired initial Modernisation of Pathology services and merger between NCH and QMC services and exploratory Pathology Network.

Committees/Working Groups (Member/Chair):

International - representing UK, The University of Nottingham or UK Mediacl research Council (MRC)

World Health Organisation (Geneva) - UK representative - Xenotransplantation Consultation Committee (1997).

Universitas 21 - meeting of Vice Presidents, Pro-Vice-Chancellors - Hong Kong 2004.

ACU meeting of Vice-Chancellors, Provosts - Adelaide, Australia 2006

International adviser to the Caribbean Health Research Council-representingUK MRC 2007. International adviser for academic appointments-in USA; University of West Indies.


Medical Research Council

Member/Chair of:

MRC Panel member(2012-13) Confidence in Concept portfolio awards to UK HEIs

MRC Council member (2004 - 2011): the governing body which directs the national scientific strategy and corporate policy.

Chair (2006) MRC National Review of Research and Career Training investment

Chair (2006/7) MRC International Strategic Review of Virology

Chair (2007) MRC International Review of Human Immunology Research

Member (2006 - 2009) MRC Executive Committee - Budget Delivery Subgroup

Member (2007 to 2011) MRC Remuneration Committee

Member (2005 to 2011) MRC Employers Rep Forum

Member MRC Strategic Review of MRC Cell Biology Unit

Member MRC working group on National Institute for Medical Research 2007(NIMR)

Reporting Chair and Member, MRC Subgroup on Unit and University partnership(2006)

MRC Clinical Training and Career Development Panel (1998-2001)

MRC Strategy Development Group - Subgroup on research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autism (1998-2000)

MRC Expert Group on Research Leaders for the UK (2001)

Higher Education Funding Council-England and Wales.

Full Panel Member: Research Assessment Exercise 2001

Reviewer of draft submissions for RAE 2008 -for UK universities'.

UK Government

UK Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority (UKXIRA) - Member 1997-2001

MAFF/DEFRA - Member Advisory Group on Quarantine (and Vaccination) (Chair UK Delegation to Sweden) (1998) - leading to change in UK legislation on quarantine

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (MAFF/FSA) (1998-2001)

UK Medicines Commission - Commissioner - (2002 - 2006)

Medical Royal Colleges

Chairman - Joint Committee on Immunology and Allergy, Royal College of Physicians and

Royal College of Pathologists (1994-1998)

Member of Governing Council - Royal College of Pathologists 1998

Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Member of Council (2002-2006).

National Affiliate of NCOB (2013-present)

Cancer Research UK/CRC

Member of CRC Grants Committee

Member of International Panels for CRUK Research Institute - site visits/assessments - (1995 - present)


Founding Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (1998)

Honorary DDS, University of Birmingham (2001);

Honorary D.Sc (2003,University of West Indies ).

Entry in Who's Who and Debrett's People of today

Current Research

My current research interests focuses mainly on translational human cancer studies. Working with collaborators in the universities interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC - Director Professor JF Robertson) studies are pursued in the area of autoimmunity in cancer and its role in early detection and in guiding therapy/patient stratification. The research relies on detection of in vivo generated human auto immune responses to cancer tumour associated antigens (TAA's). In collaboration with the biotechnology industry we have already developed a test which has moved from the 'bench to the bedside' enabling the early detection of lung cancer. The test is currently in clinical use and has already shown that within high risk populations that cancers can be detected early whilst they are still treatable with the potential for increased patient survival and indeed in some cases cure. Our initial tests called 'Early CDT-Lung' represents a world first, current usage in clinical practice has confirmed findings predicted from our published retrospective studies (see publications). CEAC is pursuing research to enable the early detection of other solid cancers including breast, ovarian, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

I continue my long standing collaborative Immunology research with the Allergy group in the School of Molecular Medical Sciences and with the C-difficile/Gastro Intestinal research group led by Professor Mahida in the School of Clinical Sciences.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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