Dr Jorge Caamaňo PhD

Image of Jorge Caamaño

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Reader in Cellular Immunology

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 4077
+44 (0)121 414 3599
Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
IBR - College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Jorge Caamaño is Reader in Cellular Immunology. He heads the Stroma-Immune Cell Interaction Group.

Jorge’s research focuses on secondary and tertiary lymphoid tissue development and function during immune responses and inflammation.

He has published over seventy articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the field of immunology, cell and developmental biology and signal transduction. His research has received funding from the European Union, BBSRC, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and MRC.

He is a member of the International Engagement College Group and the Brazil Working Group of the University of Birmingham in charge of promoting collaborations, fostering student exchanges and attracting funding with Brazil and South America. 


  • PhD Biochemistry 1992
  • MSc Biochemistry 1987


Jorge received a MSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1988 he moved to the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, USA to carry out his PhD studies on the function of the P53 tumour suppressor gene in head and neck tumours as part of a joint program with the University of Buenos Aires.

After graduating, he was awarded a postdoctoral scholarship at the Laboratory of Transcriptional Regulation in the Dept. of Oncology at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Princeton, USA. During the tenure of his postdoctoral position, he generated a series of genetically modified animal strains to study the role of the Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-kB) family of transcription factors. He continued his work on NF-kB in immune responses to infection at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

In 2000, Jorge was recruited at the University of Birmingham to set up a Stroma-Immune Cell Interaction Group within the School of Immunity and Infection of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. 

He has received funding from the BBSRC, MRC, the European Union, The Wellcome Trust, and The Royal Society.

Jorge is a member of the editorial board of the Immunity and Infection section of the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). He has organized national and international research conferences in Immunology, and was a member of the advisory board of Unit of Molecular Immunology and Signal Transduction, GIGA-Research at the University of Liege, Belgium (2009).


Teaching Programmes

  • BMedSci Course 2 Yr Immunology Module
  • MBChB Course 2 Yr Immunology Module
  • Intercalated BMedSci Immunology Module
  • MRes Cellular and Molecular Medicine module in Immunology in Health & Disease
  • Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences (PSIBS) Doctoral Course
  • PhD Supervisor

Postgraduate supervision

Jorge supervises doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Signalling pathways involved in the development of secondary lymphoid organs and inflammation.
  • Induction of gene expression by members of theTumour Necrosis Factor Receptor family (TNF-R) and the NF-kB transcription factors during immune responses and disease.
  • The role of the NF-kB transcription factors during cell transformation.

In the last few years three PhD students have successfully completed a PhD under his supervision. They have moved on to pursue careers in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry.

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Jorge on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings



Gene Expression in the Immune System
Lymphostromal Interactions in the Immune System
Lymphoid Tissue Organogenesis


The role of the Nuclear Factor-kappa B transcription factors during inflammation

Recruitment of immune cells to inflammatory sites and subsequent priming of the stromal cells predisposes the patients to chronic inflammation and in some cases tumour formation. This scenario is true in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The involvement of the stromal cells and their subsequent support to the survival and accumulation of immune cells and tumour growth have not been fully elucidated. One of the factors that appear to have an important role in both immune cells and stromal cells is the Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-kB) family of proteins. These proteins participate in the expression of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and cell adhesion molecules that facilitate immune cell recruitment to inflammation sites. In addition these proteins control the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and thus they have been found activated in a large number of tumours and cell lines derived from them. Blocking NF-kB in tumour cell lines induces programmed cell death underlying the essential role of these transcription factors.

The NF-kB proteins are highly conserved in evolution from Drosophila to mammals. Mammalian cells contain five different NF-kB proteins. These transcription factors remain inactive in the cytoplasm of cells and upon stimulation they become activated, migrate to the cell nuclei and contribute to gene expression. Many different receptors activate NF-kB by at least two general mechanisms, the classical/canonical and the alternative/non canonical NF-kB activation pathway. Research in Jorge’s group has been focussed in understanding the function of the proteins of the alternative NF-kB pathway in vivo during development, immune responses and inflammation. His group has shown that NF-kB2-mediated gene expression is required for the expression of chemokines and cell adhesion molecules as well as for maturation of follicular dendritic cells and B cells. Recent work is dissecting the function and target genes of the alternative NF-kB pathway in chronic inflammation.

Development of Secondary Lymphoid Tissues

The immune system is composed of many different cell types with specific functions. These cell types interact with each other in a concerted manner during immune responses to pathogens. Such interactions take place in specific microenvironments that are present in secondary lymphoid tissues such as the spleen and lymph nodes that are distributed around the body. Absence or disruption of these microenvironments results in impaired immune responses and decrease host survival

Jorge’s group have been focussed on dissecting the crosstalk interactions between bone marrow derived cells and stromal cells using lymph node formation as a model. They have developed in vitro and in vivo model systems to study these cellular interactions and the function of the ligands and receptors of the Tumour Necrosis factor (TNF) family of proteins such as Lymphotoxin alfa–Lymphotoxin Beta Receptor pathway and the NF-kB proteins. Importantly, the same molecules that mediate the cell-cell interactions during lymph node development are also involved in chronic inflammatory diseases in humans such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

This work is carried out in close collaborations with the groups of Graham Anderson and Peter Lane.

Other activities

  • Jorge is a member of the editorial board of the Immunity and Infection section of the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
  • He has organised the "17th Germinal Centre Conference on Lymphatic Tissues and Immune Reactions" together with Kai Toellner, 4th - 8th September 2011, The Belfry, West Midlands, UK (170 participants)
  • He has also organised the "Microanatomy of Immune Responses in Health and Disease Conference" together with Peter Lane and Graham Anderson, 5th - 8th September 2009, University of Birmingham, UK (150 participants)
  • He was a member of the advisory board of Unit of Molecular Immunology and Signal Transduction, GIGA-Research at the University of Liege, Belgium, 2009


Bénézech C, Luu NT, Walker JA, Kruglov AA, Loo Y, Nakamura K, Zhang Y, Nayar S, Jones LH, Flores-Langarica A, McIntosh A, Marshall J, Barone F, Besra G, Miles K, Allen JE, Gray M, Kollias G, Cunningham AF, Withers DR, Toellner KM, Jones ND, Veldhoen M, Nedospasov SA, McKenzie AN and Caamaño J (2015) Inflammation-induced formation of fat-associated lymphoid clusters. Nat Immunol 16(8):819-28

Buckley CD, Barone F, Nayar S, Bénézech C and Caamaño J (2015) Stromal cells in chronic inflammation and tertiary lymphoid organ formation. Annu Rev Immunol 33:715-45

Bénézech C, Nayar S, Finney BA, Withers DR, Lowe K, Desanti GE, Marriot CL, Watson SP, Caamaño J, Buckley CD and Barone F (2014) CLEC-2 is required for development and maintenance of lymph nodes. Blood 123(2):3200-7

Furtado GC, Pacer ME, Bongers G, Bénézech C, He Z, Chen L, Berin MC, Kollias G, Caamaño J and Lira SA (2013) TNFα-dependent development of lymphoid tissue in the absence of RORγt+ lymphoid tissue inducer cells. Mucosal Immunol 7(3):602-14

Bénézech C and Caamaño J (2013) Generation of lymph node-fat pad chimeras for the study of lymph node stromal cell origin. J Vis Exp Dec 16(82):e50952

Cowan JE, Parnell SM, Nakamura K, Caamaño J, Lane PJ, Jenkinson EJ, Jenkinson WE and Anderson G (2013) The thymic medulla is required for Foxp3+ regulatory but not conventional CD4+ thymocyte development. J Exp Med 210(4):675-81

Bénézech C, Mader E, Khan M, Nakamura K, White A, Ware C, Anderson G and Caamaño J (2012) Lymphotoxin-β receptor signaling through NF-κB2-RelB pathway reprograms adipocyte precursors as lymph node stromal cells. Immunity 37(4):721-34

Bénézech C, White A, Madder E, Serre K, Parnell S, Pfeffer K, Ware C, Anderson G and Caamaño J (2010) Ontogeny of stromal organizer cells during lymph node development. J Immunol 184(8):4521-30