Professor Graham Anderson


Professor Graham Anderson focuses on the role of the thymus in T-cell development, including approaches to improve immune reconstitution following ablative therapy and haemopoietic stem cell transplantation. 


Professor of Experimental Immunology, Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham.


Background and Research Focus

Graham’s laboratory has made a longstanding contribution to understanding the role of the thymus in the production of T-cells. By defining the stromal cell requirements for distinct stages of intrathymic T-cell development, his work has led to a clearer understanding of how the peripheral T-cell pool is established. A key aim of current research is to understand how the thymus distinct shapes the developing abT-cell repertoire, and  it is specialised for the production of both Foxp3+ regulatory and conventional abT-cells. Most recently, Grahams laboratory has also begun to address the limitations in thymus function that hinder immune reconstitution following stem cell transplantation. He has established new collaborations with researchers at Sanford-Burham in the US, to identify ways to manipulate thymus function and improve T-cell reconstitution following ablative therapy.


T-cell biology, thymus, lymphoid stromal microenvironments, immune reconstitution.

Other Activities

Graham’s laboratory currently receives funding from the MRC, CRUK, ARUK and The Wellcome Trust. As Professor of Experimental Immunology and Theme Lead in the MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, his work aims to bring together basic and applied Immunological research in Birmingham. He is currently an editorial board member for ‘The European Journal of Immunology’, and ‘Trends in Immunology’. By holding a Visiting Professorship at The University of Tokushima in Japan, Graham has received research funding from The Royal Society and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation to establish UK-Japanese collaborations. In Birmingham, he contributes to undergraduate BMedSci and MBChB Immunology programmes by providing small group of lecture based teaching sessions, as well as research projects to 3rd year students.


Wyss-L, Stadinski-BD, King-CG, Schallenberg-S, McCarthy-NI, Lee-JY, Kretschmer-K, Terracciano-LM, Anderson-G, Surh-CD, Huseby-ES, Ed Palmer-E (2016). Affinity for self-antigen selects regulatory T cells with distinct functional properties. Nature Immunol. In press.

Cowan-JE, McCarthy-NI, Anderson-G (2016). CCR7 controls thymus recirculation, but not production and emigration, of Foxp3+ T-cells. Cell Reports 14:1041-1048.

Sitnik-KM, Wendland-K, Weishaupt-H, Uronen-Hansson-H, White-AJ, Anderson-GKotarsky-K, Agace-WW (2016). Context-dependent development of lymphoid stroma from adult CD34+ adventitial progenitors. Cell Reports 14: 2375-2388.

Baik-S, Sekai-M, Hamazaki-Y, Jenkinson-WE, Anderson-G (2016). Relb acts downstream of medullary thymic epithelial stem cells and is essential for the emergence of RANK+ medullary epithelial progenitors. Eur. J. Immunol. 46:857-862.

Anderson-G, and Jenkinson-WE (2015). Co-ordination of intrathymic self-representation. Nature Immunol. 16:895-896.

Cowan-JE, Parnell-SM, Nakamura-K, Caamano-JH, Lane-P, Jenkinson-EJ, Jenkinson-W, Anderson-G (2013). The thymus medulla is required for Foxp3+ regulatory, but not conventional CD4+ thymocyte development. J. Exp. Med. 210:675-681.

Roberts-N, White-A, Jenkinson-W, Turchinovich-G, Nakamura-K, Withers-D, McConnell-F, Desanti-G, Benezech-C, Parnell-S, Cunningham-A, Paolino-M, Penninger-J, Simon-K, Nitta-T, Ohigashi-I, Takahama-Y, Caamano-J, Hayday-A, Lane-P, Jenkinson-E, and Anderson-G. (2012) Rank signalling links the development of invariant gamma delta T-cell progenitors and Aire+ medullary epithelium. Immunity 36:427-437.

Rossi-SW, Kim-MY, Leibbrandt-A, Parnell-SM, Jenkinsom-WE, Glanville-SH, McConnell-FM, Penninger-J, Jenkinson-EJ, Lane-PJL and Anderson-G. (2007). RANK Signals From CD4+3- Inducer Cells Regulate Development of Aire-Expressing Epithelial Cells In The Thymic Medulla. J. Exp. Med. 204:1267-1272.

Rossi-SW, Jenkinson-WE, Anderson-G, Jenkinson-EJ (2006). Clonal analysis reveals a progenitor bipotent for thymic cortical and medullary epithelium. Nature, 441:988-991.