School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Khalil Thirlaway





I received my BSc in Biology from the University of Bristol, my practical project being on trans-kingdom horizontal gene transfer and my literature project on bacterial symbionts in helminth parasites. I took a year out to apply for postgraduate positions and teach science at a London secondary school, which was a rewarding and stimulating experience. Part of the first cohort to enrol on the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership at Nottingham, I completed lab rotations in immunology, bacteriology and parasitology before starting work on my thesis.

Degree Registration:


School Research Theme:

Animal Infection and Immunity

Research Topic:

Immunomodulatory properties of plant extracts from the Crops For The Future Research Centre

Summary of Research:

Plants all over the world have been a source of medicines for much of human history. My project involves searching for plant-derived compounds which either up- or down-regulate the mammalian immune system, with the intention of identifying the molecules in question, elucidating their mechanisms of action and starting in vivo work to establish their viability for use as novel vaccine adjuvants, anti-inflammatories or pharmaceuticals for treatment of autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases. After screening the crude plant extracts against TLR-transfected HEK cells, any immunologically active extracts will be fractionated and the active TLR ligand identified, using knockout lines to determine the action and effect of each one in vitro and in vivo.

Research Supervisors:

Prof David Haig
Dr Robin Flynn

Primary Funding Source:


School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415