Dr Rebecca A Drummond

Rebecca Drummond

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Immunology & Immunotherapy
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rebecca Drummond is a fungal immunologist researching mechanisms of immunity that protect us from fungal pathogens, such as Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans.

Her lab is particularly interested in how organ-specific immune responses develop by studying the behaviour of tissue-resident myeloid cells during infection and the microbial response to the environment within host tissues.


  • PhD Immunobiology, University of Aberdeen (2014)
  • BSc (Hons) Immunology, University of Edinburgh (2010)


Rebecca completed her BSc in Immunology with Honours at the University of Edinburgh in 2010. She then moved to the University of Aberdeen and joined the Aberdeen Fungal Group, where she earned her PhD in 2014. Rebecca’s doctoral research focused on understanding mechanisms of adaptive antifungal immunity and revealed a novel role for the innate receptor Dectin-1 in the gut (Drummond et al, 2016, Mucosal Immunology), as well as identifying defects in the fungal-specific T-cell response in the kidney (Drummond et al, 2014, JI).

In 2014, Rebecca moved to the USA to work at the National Institutes of Health. Here, she primarily focused on understanding the pathogenesis of human CARD9 deficiency, a primary immunodeficiency disease that predisposes to fungal infection of the brain (Drummond et al, 2015, PLoS Pathogens).

In 2018, Rebecca was awarded a Birmingham Fellow position to set up her own research group at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Students interested in working with Dr Drummond should contact her directly by emailing r.drummond@bham.ac.uk


Diseases that are a current focus in the group are:

  • Cryptococcal meningitis
  • Invasive candidiasis
We are most interested in organs that become infected in these diseases (brain, kidney, gut, lungs) and the immune responses occurring there, especially that of myeloid cells. Another major interest in the group is how fungi behave and respond to their environment within different organs, and how this shapes the subsequent immune response.


Recent publications


Mohamed, SH, Fu, MS, Hain, S, Alselami, A, Vanhoffelen, E, Li, Y, Bojang, E, Lukande, R, Ballou, ER, May, RC, Ding, C, Velde, GV & Drummond, RA 2023, 'Microglia are not protective against cryptococcal meningitis', Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 7202. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-43061-0

Drummond, RA, Desai, JV, Ricotta, EE, Swamydas, M, Deming, C, Conlan, S, Quinones, M, Matei-Rascu, V, Sherif, L, Lecky, D, Lee, C-CR, Green, NM, Collins, N, Zelazny, AM, Prevots, DR, Bending, D, Withers, D, Belkaid, Y, Segre, JA & Lionakis, MS 2022, 'Long-term antibiotic exposure promotes mortality after systemic fungal infection by driving lymphocyte dysfunction and systemic escape of commensal bacteria', Cell Host & Microbe, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 1020-1033.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2022.04.013

Drummond, RA, Swamydas, M, Oikonomou, V, Zhai, B, Dambuza, IM, Schaefer, BC, Bohrer, AC, Mayer-barber, KD, Lira, SA, Iwakura, Y, Filler, SG, Brown, GD, Hube, B, Naglik, JR, Hohl, TM & Lionakis, MS 2019, 'CARD9+ Microglia Orchestrate Antifungal Immunity via IL-1β and CXCL1-mediated Neutrophil Recruitment', Nature Immunology, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 559–570. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-019-0377-2

Swidergall, M, Khalaji, M, Solis, NV, Moyes, D, Drummond, R, Hube, B, Lionakis, MS, Murdoch, C, Filler, SG & Naglik, JR 2019, 'Candidalysin is required for neutrophil recruitment and virulence during systemic candida albicans infection', The Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 220, no. 9, pp. 1477–1488. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz322

Drummond, RA & Lionakis, MS 2018, 'Candidiasis of the central nervous system in neonates and children with primary immunodeficiencies', Current Fungal Infection Reports, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 92-97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12281-018-0316-y

Cougnoux, A, Drummond, RA, Collar, AL, Iben, JR, Salman, A, Westgarth, H, Wassif, CA, Cawley, NX, Farhat, NY, Ozato, K, Lionakis, MS & Porter, FD 2018, 'Microglia activation in Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 is amendable to therapeutic intervention', Human Molecular Genetics, vol. 27, no. 12, pp. 2076-2089. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy112

Drummond, RA & Lionakis, MS 2018, 'Organ-specific mechanisms linking innate and adaptive antifungal immunity', Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2018.01.008

Kasper, L, König, A, Koenig, PA, Gresnigt, MS, Westman, J, Drummond, RA, Lionakis, MS, Groß, O, Ruland, J, Naglik, JR & Hube, B 2018, 'The fungal peptide toxin Candidalysin activates the NLRP3 inflammasome and causes cytolysis in mononuclear phagocytes', Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 4260. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06607-1

St. Leger, AJ, Desai, JV, Drummond, RA, Kugadas, A, Almaghrabi, F, Silver, P, Raychaudhuri, K, Gadjeva, M, Iwakura, Y, Lionakis, MS & Caspi, RR 2017, 'An ocular commensal protects against corneal infection by driving an Interleukin-17 response from mucosal γδ T cells', Immunity, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 148-158.e5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2017.06.014


Drummond, RA, Zahra, FT, Natarajan, M, Swamydas, M, Hsu, AP, Wheat, LJ, Gavino, C, Vinh, DC, Holland, SM, Mikelis, CM & Lionakis, MS 2018, 'GM-CSF therapy in human caspase recruitment domain–containing protein 9 deficiency', Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 142, no. 4, pp. 1334-1338.e5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2018.05.025

Review article

Alselami, A & Drummond, RA 2023, 'How metals fuel fungal virulence, yet promote anti-fungal immunity', Disease Models & Mechanisms, vol. 16, no. 10, dmm050393. https://doi.org/10.1242/dmm.050393

Drummond, RA 2023, 'What fungal CNS infections can teach us about neuroimmunology and CNS-specific immunity', Seminars in Immunology, vol. 67, 101751. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smim.2023.101751

Fu, MS & Drummond, RA 2020, 'The Diverse Roles of Monocytes in Cryptococcosis', Journal of Fungi, vol. 6, no. 3, 111, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030111

Clark, C & Drummond, R 2019, 'The hidden cost of modern medical interventions: how medical advances have shaped the prevalence of human fungal disease', Pathogens, vol. 8, no. 2, 45, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8020045

Short survey

Drummond, RA, Franco, LM & Lionakis, MS 2018, 'Human CARD9: a critical molecule of fungal immune surveillance', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 9, 1836. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01836

View all publications in research portal