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, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, College of Medical Sciences and Dentistry, University of Birmingham

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

UoB profile


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 that she works on with Prof Ben Willcox. Carrie has played a key role in characterising human gamma delta T cell repertoires, with the aim of understanding their antigen specificity. She is using single cell PCR, functional and transcriptional analyses to determine TCR gene usage and function to elucidate the role of gamma delta T cells in infection and cancer. In parallel with this, Carrie is focussed on identifying and characterising ligands for gamma delta TCRs. 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 British Society for Immunology as well as the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Centre Advisory Board.



Hunter S*, Willcox CR*, Davey MS*, Kasatskaya SA, Jeffery HC, Chudakov DM, Oo YH, Willcox BE. Human liver infiltrating γδ T cells are composed of clonally expanded circulating and tissue-resident populations. J Hepatol. 2018 May 18. pii: S0168-8278(18)32053-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.05.007. [Epub ahead of print]


Davey MS*, Willcox CR*, Hunter S*, Kasatskaya SA, Remmerswaal EBM, Salim M, Mohammed F, Bemelman FJ, Chudakov DM, Oo YH, Willcox BE. The human Vδ2(+) T-cell  compartment comprises distinct innate-like Vγ9(+) and adaptive Vγ9(-) subsets. Nat Commun. 2018 May 2;9(1):1760. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04076-0.


Davey MS*, Willcox CR*, Baker AT, Hunter S, Willcox BE. Recasting Human Vδ1 Lymphocytes in an Adaptive Role. Trends Immunol. 2018 Jun;39(6):446-459. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2018.03.003. Epub 2018


Zuo J*, Willcox CR*, Mohammed F*, Davey M, Hunter S, Khan K, Antoun A, Katakia P, Croudace J, Inman C, Parry H, Briggs D, Malladi R, Willcox BE, Moss P. A disease-linked ULBP6 polymorphism inhibits NKG2D-mediated target cell killing by enhancing the stability of NKG2D ligand binding. Sci Signal. 2017 May 30;10(481).pii: eaai8904. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aai8904.


Davey MS*, Willcox CR*, Joyce SP, Ladell K, Kasatskaya SA, McLaren JE, Hunter S, Salim M, Mohammed F, Price DA, Chudakov DM, Willcox BE. Clonal selection in the human Vδ1 T cell repertoire indicates γδ TCR-dependent adaptive immune surveillance. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 1;8:14760. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14760.


Salim M*, Knowles TJ*, Hart R*, Mohammed F, Woodward MJ, Willcox CR, Overduin M, Hayday AC, Willcox BE. Characterization of a Putative Receptor Binding Surface on Skint-1, a Critical Determinant of Dendritic Epidermal T Cell Selection. J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 22;291(17):9310-21. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.722066. Epub 2016 Feb


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*, 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 gamma delta 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.


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.


*These authors contributed equally