Professor Robin May, Lister Fellow and Professor of Infectious Disease at the School of Biosciences, has been appointed as a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder. The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of science.

Professor Robin May

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Wolfson Research Merit Award scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Professor May's research centres on human infectious diseases, with a particular focus on the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions. He teaches on a number of our degree course modules and in the video below he describes what students can expect from the optional thrid-year module Molecular and Cellular Immunology.


Molecular and Cellular Immunology is a third-year module which is optional. In the module we try and discuss issues around modern immunology going right from the evolution of immune systems in early animals up to full human immunity, where we discuss issues like adaptive and innate immunity, the function of B-cells and T-cells and phagocytic cells and the role of antibody.

The module is composed of lectures primarily but also an extensive practical where you’ll learn how to identify different white blood cells and what each white blood cell type does.

The assessment for the module is divided between a final exam and also in-course assessment, which itself is composed of two parts. So there is a data handling and identification exercise and then there’s a controversies topic. In the controversies aspect, you look at something that’s still unresolved, a modern, hot topic in immunology. You’ll be provided with papers that argue different sides of this particular debate and it’s up to you to learn how to distinguish what is true from what is not and to come up with your own view on what the likely answer is to this still unresolved topic in immunology.