Dr Francesca Kinsella BMedSc PhD MBChB MRCP FRCPath

Dr Francesca Kinsella

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer
Birmingham ECMC - Immunotherapy Theme Lead
Director of the Birmingham Centre for Cellular Therapy and Transplantation at UHB

Contact details

Dennis Howell Building
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Vincent Drive
B15 2TT

Dr Francesca Kinsella is a research active Consultant Haematologist at University Hospitals Birmingham, affiliated to the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham. She delivers Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies to patients with Haematological Malignancies. Dr Kinsella also leads the Graft versus Host Disease and Late effects Services.

Dr Kinsella's research interests include mechanisms of immune tolerance and how these impact upon clinical outcomes following Stem cell transplantation, and neurotoxicity following cellular therapies. Dr Kinsella is also Immunotherapy Theme Lead for the Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Cellular Therapy and Transplantation at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB). 


Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer:

• Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (Haematology) (2018)
• Member of the Royal College of Physicians (2011)
• MBChB, University of Birmingham (2008)
• PhD in Immunology (2006)
• BMedSc (1st Class Hons) in Cellular Pathology, University of Birmingham (2002)


As a Consultant Haematologist, Dr Kinsella delivers allogeneic haematopoeitic stem cell transplantation for complex myeloid disorders, bone marrow failure disorders, and non-malignant conditions, and leads the UHB GvHD and late effects services at University Hospitals Birmingham. Dr Kinsella also delivers Chimeric antigen receptor therapy for patients with blood cancers.

Throughout her career, Dr Kinsella has studied immunological tolerance and how it impacts upon immune responses to cancer.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a curative strategy for many haematological malignancies and bone marrow failure syndromes. The curative aspect relies upon an allogeneic immune response. The factors that distinguish the harmful graft versus host response from the desired graft versus tumour response remain unclear, but would improve the safety and deliverability of the treatment.

Dr Kinsella has described the impact of early mixed chimerism (the mix of donor and residual host) immune systems after stem cell transplantation and identified that host regulatory T cells inhibit the donor allogeneic immune response increasing the risk of malignant disease relapse.

Furthermore, Dr Kinsella has contributed to efforts to describe the initial allogeneic immune response which has been shown to influence outcome following stem cell transplantation, with a view to promoting the graft versus tumour response and limiting damaging graft versus host disease.

Dr Kinsella has led a study into the composition of donated stem cell grafts and has previously shown that the dose of NK cells delivered provides strong protection from relapse. This has expanded into a comprehensive study of stem cell graft products to define the ‘ideal’ cellular composition for the optimisation of outcome post transplant, which is ongoing.

Dr Kinsella is also currently leading a new collaboration into characterising and defining the pathophysiology and immune effector cell induced neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), which occurs after Chimeric Antigen receptor (CAR T) therapy.

Dr Kinsella is interested in the education and training of future teams dedicated to the delivery of cellular therapies and she is leading the development of an Advanced Therapy Academy. This will form part of a NIHR-BTRU joint award to University of Birmingham and University of Oxford, focussed on stem cell transplantation and and cellular therapy.


• BMedSc
• Msc Immunology and Immunotherapy
• MSc Infection and Immunity

Postgraduate supervision

• PhD Immunology - Dr Luke Maggs. Awarded 2017
• PhD Immunology - Mr Ali Gazwani. Commenced study 2022


Research interests: Current

1 - Composition of stem cell transplant grafts and their impact on clinical outcomes following allogeneic stem cell transplantation

2 - Very early immune reconstitution and immune tolerance following allogeneic stem cell transplantation and the impact on clinical outcome

3 - Multimodal characterisation and pathophysiology of Immune Effector cell induced Neurotoxicity Syndrome

Other activities

• Service Lead: Graft versus Host Disease and Transplant Late Effects services

• Immunotherapy Lead - Birmingham ECMC

• Lead of the Advanced Therapy Academy - part of the newly awarded NIHR - BTRU

• Member of the BSBMT sub-committees for Cellular therapy for Myeloid and Solid organ cancers


Kinsella, F. and Craddock, C. (2022) 'The evolving role of allogeneic stem cell transplantation in the era of molecularly targeted agents', The Cancer Journal, 28(1), 78–84. https://doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000575

Iacobelli, S., Malpassuti, V., Koster, L., Kroeger, N., Kinsella, F., Czerw, T., Robin, M., Maertens, J., Chevallier, P., Watz, E., Poiré, X., Snowden, J.A., Kuball, J., Blaise, D., Reményi, P., Mear, J-B., Cammenga, J., Rubio, M.T., Maury, S., Daguindau, E., Finnegan, D., Hayden, P., Hernández-Boluda, J.C., McLornan, D. and Yakoub-Agha, I. (2022) 'Impact of donor-derived CD34 + infused cell dose on outcomes of patients undergoing allo-HCT following reduced intensity regimen for myelofibrosis: a study from the Chronic Malignancies Working Party of the EBMT', Bone Marrow Transplantation, 57, 261–270. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01540-2

Kinsella, F.A., Inman, C.F., Croft, W., Zuo, J., Pearce, H., Barbieri, S., Craddock, C., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2021) 'CD52/GPI- T-Cells Are Enriched for Alloreactive Specificity and Predict Acute Graft-Versus-Host-Disease After Stem Cell Transplantation', Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, 27(6), 475.e1–475.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.023

Eldershaw, S., Verma, K., Croft, W., Rai, T., Kinsella, F.A.M., Stephens, C., Chen, H., Nunnick, J., Zuo, J., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2021) 'Lymphopenia-induced lymphoproliferation drives activation of naive T cells and expansion of regulatory populations', iScience, 24(3), 102164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102164

Kinsella, F.A.M., Bencito, A., Kulik, D., Hurst, E., Gilleece, M., Snowden, J.A., Malladi, R., Scarisbrick, J., Gennery, A. and Alfred, A. (2020) 'UK national audit of extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) in chronic graft versus host disease', Leukemia & Lymphoma, 61(14), 3511–3514. https://doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1815015

Kinsella, F.A.M., Inman, C.F., Gudger, A., Chan, Y.T., Murray, D.J., Zuo, J., McIlroy, G., Nagra, S., Nunnick, J., Holder, K., Wall, K., Griffiths, M., Craddock, C., Nikolousis, E., Moss, P. and Malladi, R. (2019) 'Very early lineage-specific chimerism after reduced intensity stem cell transplantation is highly predictive of clinical outcome for patients with myeloid disease', Leukemia Research, 83, 106173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2019.106173

Kinsella, F.A.M., Zuo, J., Inman, C.F., Pearce, H., Maggs, L., Eldershaw, S.E., Chan, Y.L.T., Nunnick, J., Nagra, S., Griffiths, M., Craddock, C., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2019) 'Mixed chimerism established by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is maintained by host and donor T regulatory cells', Blood Advances, 3(5), 734–743. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025502

Inman, C.F., Eldershaw, S.A., Croudace, J.E., Davies, N.J., Sharma-Oates, A., Rai, T., Pearce, H., Sirovica, M., Chan, Y.L.T., Verma, K., Zuo, J., Nagra, S., Kinsella, F., Nunnick, J., Amel-Kashipaz, R., Craddock, C., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2018) 'Unique features and clinical importance of acute alloreactive immune responses', JCI Insight, 3(10), e97219. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.97219

Chan, Y.L.T., Zuo, J., Inman, C.F., Croft, W., Begum, J., Croudace, J., Kinsella, F., Maggs, L., Nagra, S., Nunnick, J., Abbotts, B., Craddock, C., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2018) 'NK cells produce high levels of IL-10 early after allogeneic stem cell transplantation and suppress development of acute GVHD', European Journal of Immunology, 48(2), 316–329. https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.201747134

Maggs, L., Kinsella, F., Chan, Y.L.T., Eldershaw, S., Murray, D., Nunnick, J., Bird, J., Craddock, C., Zuo, J., Malladi, R. and Moss, P. (2017) 'The number of CD56dim NK cells in the graft has a major impact on risk of disease relapse following allo-HSCT', Blood Advances, 1(19), 1589–1597. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2017008631

Kinsella, F.A.M., Amel-Kasipaz, M.R., Scarisbrick, J. and Malladi, R. (2017) 'Donor-derived mycosis fungoides following reduced intensity haematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a matched unrelated donor', BMJ case reports, bcr2016216331. https://doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2016-216331

Nikolousis, E., Robinson, S., Nagra, S., Brookes, C., Kinsella, F., Tauro, S., Jeffries, S., Griffiths, M., Mahendra, P., Cook, M., Paneesha, S., Lovell, R., Kishore, B., Chaganti, S., Malladi, R., Raghavan, M., Moss, P., Milligan, D. and Craddock, C. (2013) 'Post-transplant T cell chimerism predicts graft versus host disease but not disease relapse in patients undergoing an alemtuzumab based reduced intensity conditioned allogeneic transplant', Leukemia Research, 37(5), 561–565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2013.01.010

Anderson, G., Jenkinson, W.E., Jones, T., Parnell, S.M., Kinsella, F.A.M., White, A.J., Pongrac'z, J.E., Rossi, S.W. and Jenkinson, E.J. (2006) 'Establishment and functioning of intrathymic microenvironments', Immunological Reviews, 209, 10–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-2896.2006.00347.x


Cellular therapy, stem cell transplantation