Infections, Immunity and Microbes

David Onion

Flow Cytometry Facility Manager, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



I am a research scientist with 20 year's experience in the fields of Cancer and Immunology. My research focuses on the influence of the tumor microenvironment on tumour cell biology and sensitivity to chemotherapy. I have particular expertise in ex vivo models and cytometry and I manage the University of Nottingham Flow Cytometry Facility.

Expertise Summary

My career long use of flow cytometry as a tool to measure immune-oncology, the tumour microenvironment, immune responses to cancer gene therapy vectors and to develop immunotherapeutics has led a number of basic research contributions and to the advancement of research technology. I also day-to-day leverage this experience to advance and extend the use of flow cytometric technology to many areas of research at the University of Nottingham.

My extensive experience in developing novel model systems and novel ways to measure immune-pathogen and immune-cancer cell interactions has led to new ways to fluorescently label and investigate virus binding and sub-cellular trafficking using Imaging cytometry, flow cytometry and conventional confocal microscopy. These have fed in to the advancement adenoviral cancer gene therapy vectors currently under clinical investigation. I developed an array of immune-assays that have led to a significant contribution to the understanding of how vector immune responses influence the efficacy of viral vectors in the clinical setting of both cancer gene therapy and vaccine fields. The subsequent understanding of immune control of adenovirus replication has also led to the advancement of immunotherapies for the treatment of adenovirus infection in paediatric stem cell transplantation recipients.

My current focus is on the refinement and development of pre-clinical tumour models, which are more reflective of the human disease and hence better able to predict patient efficacy. With a particular focus on the tumour microenvironment of Non-Small Cell Lung and Oesophageal Cancer, I have developed a unique 3D assay that can incorporate patient derived tumour cells as well as the ancillary cells of the tumour microenvironment and have demonstrated accurate prediction of patient sensitivity to chemotherapeutics. This has resulted in advancement in the understanding of resistance to chemotherapy in the setting of NSCLC and also a potential new way to determine whether a patient would be benefit from chemotherapy in oesophageal cancer.

Recent Publications

Infections, Immunity and Microbes

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