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


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, Dambuza, IM, Vautier, S, Taylor, JA, Reid, DM, Bain, CC, Underhill, DM, Masopust, D, Kaplan, DH & Brown, GD 2016, 'CD4+ T-cell survival in the GI tract requires dectin-1 during fungal infection', Mucosal immunology, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 492-502. https://doi.org/10.1038/mi.2015.79

O'Hayre, M, Inoue, A, Kufareva, I, Wang, Z, Mikelis, CM, Drummond, RA, Avino, S, Finkel, K, Kalim, KW, Dipasquale, G, Guo, F, Aoki, J, Zheng, Y, Lionakis, MS, Molinolo, AA & Gutkind, JS 2016, 'Inactivating mutations in GNA13 and RHOA in Burkitt's lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a tumor suppressor function for the Gα13/RhoA axis in B cells', Oncogene, vol. 35, no. 29, pp. 3771-3780. https://doi.org/10.1038/onc.2015.442

Redelinghuys, P, Whitehead, L, Augello, A, Drummond, RA, Levesque, JM, Vautier, S, Reid, DM, Kerscher, B, Taylor, JA, Nigrovic, PA, Wright, J, Murray, GI, Willment, JA, Hocking, LJ, Fernandes, MJG, DeBari, C, Mcinnes, IB & Brown, GD 2016, 'MICL controls inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 75, no. 7, pp. 1386-1391. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206644


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

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

Drummond, RA 2017, 'Neuro-Immune Mechanisms of Anti-Cryptococcal Protection', Journal of Fungi, vol. 4, no. 1, 4. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4010004

Drummond, RA & Lionakis, MS 2016, 'Mechanistic insights into the role of C-type lectin receptor/CARD9 signaling in human antifungal immunity', Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, vol. 6, no. APR, 39. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2016.00039

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