Dr Carrie Willcox

Dr Carrie Willcox is a molecular immunologist with a strong interest in understanding unconventional lymphocyte recognition, and wide experience in molecular and cellular techniques.

Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, School of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Birmingham

Email: C.R.Willcox@bham.ac.uk

Research Focus

Carrie has focussed on understanding unconventional T cell recognition for most of her career, and completed her PhD training in Professor Adrian Hayday’s laboratory in King’s College London.  Although she has worked on Natural Killer and Natural Killer T cells, much of her research has been focussed on understanding gamma delta T cell recognition, an area she works on with Prof Ben Willcox. A particular emphasis is on characterising ligands recognised by the gamma delta T cell receptor. In addition, she has a strong interest in NKG2D ligand recognition, particularly in the context of anti-tumour immunity, and has collaborative research with Professor Moss’ group in this area.


gamma delta T cells; unconventional T cells; NKG2D; natural killer cells; natural killer T cells; molecular immunology; biochemistry; molecular biology; molecular cloning; recombinant protein expression; protein-protein binding; surface plasmon resonance; immunoprecipitation; cell culture; transduction; transfection; siRNA; shRNA; functional assays; cytotoxicity assays; cytokine secretion assays.

Other activities

Carrie is a member of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Centre Advisory Board.


Vantourout P, Willcox CR, Turner A, Swanson CM, Haque Y, Sobolev O, Grigoriadis A, Tutt A, and Hayday AC. Immunological Visibility: Posttranscriptional Regulation of Human NKG2D Ligands by the EGF Receptor Pathway. Sci Transl Med 9 April 2014: Vol. 6, Issue 231, p. 231ra49

Willcox CR, Mohammed F, Willcox BE. Resolving the mystery of pyrophosphate antigen presentation. Nat Immunol. 2013 Sep;14(9):886-7.

Willcox CR, Pitard V, Netzer S, Couzi L, Salim M, Silberzahn T, Moreau JF, Hayday AC, Willcox BE, Déchanet-Merville J.Cytomegalovirus and tumor stress surveillance by binding of a human ?? T cell antigen receptor to endothelial protein C receptor. Nat Immunol. 2012 Sep;13(9):872-9.

Montamat-Sicotte DJ, Millington KA, Willcox CR, Hingley-Wilson S, Hackforth S, Innes J, Kon OM, Lammas DA, Minnikin DE, Besra GS, Willcox BE, Lalvani A. A mycolic acid-specific CD1-restricted T cell population contributes to acute and memory immune responses in human tuberculosis infection.J Clin Invest. 2011 Jun;121(6):2493-503.

Croudace JE, Curbishley SM, Mura M, Willcox CR, Illarionov PA, Besra GS, Adams DH, Lammas DA. Identification of distinct human invariant natural killer T-cell response phenotypes to alpha-galactosylceramide. BMC Immunol. 2008 Dec 3;9:71.

Willcox BE, Willcox CR, Dover LG, Besra G. Structures and functions of microbial lipid antigens presented by CD1. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2007;314:73-110. Review.

Steele CR, Van Remoortere KC, Hayday AC. Production of a soluble gammadelta T-cell receptor to identify ligands for the murine intestinal intraepithelial gammadelta T cell population. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2003 Mar 25;786(1-2):297-304. 

Girardi M, Oppenheim DE, Steele CR, Lewis JM, Glusac E, Filler R, Hobby P, Sutton B, Tigelaar RE, Hayday AC.Regulation of cutaneous malignancy by gammadelta T cells. Science. 2001 Oct 19;294(5542):605-9. Epub 2001 Sep 20.

Steele CR, Oppenheim DE, Hayday AC. Gamma(delta) T cells: non-classical ligands for non-classical cells. Curr Biol. 2000 Apr 6;10(7):R282-5. Review.