Professor Alex Richter MBChB, MRCP, FRCPath, MD

Alex Richter

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Professor and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Immunology

Contact details

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

Alex has been leading a team of experts from the University of Birmingham to develop a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test focussed on improving detection in individuals with mild COVID-19 disease. In collaboration with The Binding Site this is being commercialised.

In collaboration with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Dental Hospital this test has been used to investigate seroprevalence in NHS medical and dental staff, determine antibody status for Oxford vaccine study and determine COVID -19 to be the cause of a newly emerged multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.


  • MBChB (Birmingham)
  • MRCP (London)
  • FRCPath
  • MD (Birmingham)


Professor Alex Richter earned her undergraduate medical degree from the University of Birmingham (UoB) and undertook her junior doctor training within the British Army. After 10 years military service she returned to Birmingham to undertake a doctorate exploring the immunology of pulmonary vasculitis and interstitial lung disease. She undertook specialist training in Clinical Immunology and was appointed Clinical Lecturer at UoB to complete her training. She established clinical immunology and allergy services at University Hospitals Birmingham, where she is now a Consultant Clinical Immunologist and won a Best in Care award in 2018.

She is Professor of Clinical Immunology and Director of the Clinical Immunology Service. Her research interests are focussed around secondary immunodeficiency and understanding vaccination responses.


Alex undertakes regular teaching at the University and clinical teaching and lecturing on her research areas.

  • Awarded the 2019 REME Teaching Award (Recognising Excellence in Medical Education).
  • Examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists.
  • MBChB
    • 2nd year Immunity, infection and haematology – module lead
    • 3rd year Allergy Lecturer
  • BMedSc
    • Clinical Pathology - Lecturer for Year 2 and Year 3
    • Clinical Sciences - Lecturer

Postgraduate supervision


  • MD – Prevalence of MGUS in acute admissions
  • PhD – Role of B cells in HIV
  • PhD - The role of B cells in non small cell lung cancer (current)
  • PhD - The Immunology of recurrent miscarriage (current)
  • DClinSci - Prevalence of secondary immunodeficiency in stem cell transplant recovery (current)


  • Regularly supervisors masters and batchelor degree projects
  • Educational supervisor for clinical lecturer and academic clinical fellow

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Professor Alex Richter directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email

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


Research interests include the emerging field of secondary immunodeficiency; developing diagnostics, exploring vaccination responses and management of patients with an immunodeficiency secondary to either malignancy or prolonged immunosuppression for an inflammatory disorder. For many cancers and inflammatory conditions, infection is one of the most significant causes of death and optimising and supporting the immune system can potentially reduce this risk.

During the SARS-CoV 2 pandemic Alex lead a team that developed a high sensitivity antibody test that was commercialised by The Binding Site. This assay was used to establish seroprevalence in a large staff cohort study at UHB (COCO), a Birmingham dental cohort and a haemodialysis cohort. Alex has helped establish the Birmingham Turnkey laboratory to contribute to the pillar 2 testing effort.

Current grants

  • 2020: Confidence in Concept MRC: Development of an annual influenza serotype antibody ELISA
  • 2020: COPE-Birmingham: The contribution of occupational exposures to risk of COVID-19 and approaches to control among healthcare workers. DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative
  • 2020: Development of antibody-based testing for SARS-CoV-2. Proximity to Discovery, MRC
  • 2020: Developing a point of care diagnostic tool for COVID-19 for use in LMIC settings. Institute for Global Innovation (IGI)
  • 2019: Investigating immunity in post-transplant LPD in a clinical trial cohort. Rosetree foundation. Co-investigator.
  • 2019: Treating plagues – public engagement grant from BSI. Co-investigator
  • 2018: Does hospitalisation of older patients with severe community acquired pneumonia and sepsis lead to long term immunoparesis? MRC (MR/S002782/1): Co- investigator

Other activities

University of Birmingham

External appointments

  • Myeloma UK -  Early Diagnosis Steering Committee
  • UK Primary Immunodeficiency Network UKPIN – Trustee
  • NIHR CRF specialist advisory committee at UHB


Recent publications


PHOSP-COVID study collaborative group & ISARIC4C Investigators 2024, 'Accelerated immune ageing is associated with COVID-19 disease severity', Immunity & Ageing, vol. 21, no. 1, 6.

Griffiths, K, Mellado, MR, Chung, R, Lally, J, McQueen, G, Sendt, K-V, Gillespie, A, Ibrahim, M, Richter, A, Shields, A, Ponsford, M, Jolles, S, Hodsoll, J, Pollak, TA, Upthegrove, R, Egerton, A & Maccabe, JH 2024, 'Changes in immunoglobulin levels during clozapine treatment in schizophrenia', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, vol. 115, pp. 223-228.

the OCTAVE Collaborative Group, PITCH study, and the EASL supported COVID-Hep vaccine network, Murray, SM, Pose, E, Wittner, M, Londoño, MC, Schaub, G, Cook, J, Dimitriadis, S, Meacham, G, Irwin, S, Lim, Z, Duengelhoef, P, Sterneck, M, Lohse, AW, Perez, V, Trivedi, P, Bhandal, K, Mullish, BH, Manousou, P, Provine, NM, Avitabile, E, Carroll, M, Tipton, T, Healy, S, Burra, P, Klenerman, P, Dunachie, S, Kronsteiner, B, Maciola, AK, Pasqual, G, Hernandez-Gea, V, Garcia-Pagan, JC, Lampertico, P, Iavarone, M, Gines, P, Lütgehetmann, M, Schulze zur Wiesch, J, Russo, FP, Barnes, E & Marjot, T 2024, 'Immune responses and clinical outcomes after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with liver disease and liver transplant recipients', Journal of Hepatology, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 109-123.

OCTAVE-DUO investigators 2024, 'Immunogenicity of third dose COVID-19 vaccine strategies in patients who are immunocompromised with suboptimal immunity following two doses (OCTAVE-DUO): an open-label, multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial', The Lancet Rheumatology.

Drayson, M, Jennis, T, Laketic‐ljubojevic, I, Patel, D, Pratt, G, Renwick, S, Richter, A, Wheeler, R, Sheldon, J, Sadler, R, Stapleton, M, Willis, F & Whiston, M 2024, 'Laboratory practice is central to earlier myeloma diagnosis: Utilizing a primary care diagnostic tool and laboratory guidelines integrated into haematology services', British Journal of Haematology.

PANORAMIC Virology Group, Standing, JF, Buggiotti, L, Guerra-Assuncao, JA, Woodall, M, Ellis, S, Agyeman, AA, Miller, C, Okechukwu, M, Kirkpatrick, E, Jacobs, AI, Williams, CA, Roy, S, Martin-Bernal, LM, Williams, R, Smith, CM, Sanderson, T, Ashford, FB, Emmanuel, B, Afzal, ZM, Shields, A, Richter, AG, Dorward, J, Gbinigie, O, Van Hecke, O, Lown, M, Francis, N, Jani, B, Richards, DB, Rahman, NM, Yu, L-M, Thomas, NPB, Hart, ND, Evans, P, Andersson, M, Hayward, G, Hood, K, Nguyen-Van-Tam, JS, Little, P, Hobbs, FDR, Khoo, S, Butler, C, Lowe, DM & Breuer, J 2024, 'Randomized controlled trial of molnupiravir SARS-CoV-2 viral and antibody response in at-risk adult outpatients', Nature Communications, vol. 15, no. 1, 1652.

Reynolds, JA, Faustini, SE, Tosounidou, S, Plant, T, Ubhi, M, Gilman, R, Richter, AG & Gordon, C 2023, 'Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies following vaccination are associated with lymphocyte count and serum immunoglobulins in SLE', Lupus, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 431-437.

Shields, AM, Faustini, SE, Young, S, Terjesen, S, McCarthy, NI, Anderson, RL, Drayson, MT & Richter, AG 2023, 'Clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with symptomatic secondary immunodeficiency following the treatment of haematological malignancies', EJHaem, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 339-349.

Patel, AJ, Khan, N, Richter, A, Naidu, B, Drayson, MT & Middleton, GW 2023, 'Deep immune B and plasma cell repertoire in non-small cell lung cancer', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1198665.

PITCH Consortium, Jenner, MW, Owen, RG, Pratt, D, Cook, G, Richter, A, Drayson, M & Kaiser, MF 2023, 'Immune responses to COVID-19 booster vaccinations in intensively anti-CD38 antibody treated patients with ultra-high-risk multiple myeloma: results from the Myeloma UK (MUK) nine OPTIMUM trial', British Journal of Haematology, vol. 201, no. 5, pp. 845-850.

Hornsby, H, Nicols, AR, Longet, S, Liu, C, Tomic, A, Angyal, A, Kronsteiner, B, Tyerman, JK, Tipton, T, Zhang, P, Gallis, M, Supasa, P, Selvaraj, M, Abraham, P, Neale, I, Ali, M, Barratt, NA, Nell, JM, Gustafsson, L, Strickland, S, Grouneva, I, Rostron, T, Moore, SC, Hering, LM, Dobson, SL, Bibi, S, Mongkolsapaya, J, Lambe, T, Wootton, D, Hall, V, Hopkins, S, Dong, T, Barnes, E, Screaton, G, Richter, A, Turtle, L, Rowland-Jones, SL, Carroll, M, Duncan, CJA, Klenerman, P, Dunachie, SJ, Payne, RP & de Silva, TI 2023, 'Omicron infection following vaccination enhances a broad spectrum of immune responses dependent on infection history', Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 5065.

ISARIC4C Investigators, Turtle, L, Thorpe, M, Drake, TM, Swets, M, Palmieri, C, Russell, CD, Ho, A, Aston, S, Wootton, DG, Richter, A, De Silva, TI, Hardwick, HE, Leeming, G, Law, A, Openshaw, PJM, Harrison, EM, Baillie, JK, Semple, MG & Docherty, AB 2023, 'Outcome of COVID-19 in hospitalised immunocompromised patients: An analysis of the WHO ISARIC CCP-UK prospective cohort study', PLoS Medicine, vol. 20, no. 1, e1004086.

Ward, KE, Steadman, L, Karim, AR, Reynolds, GM, Pugh, M, Chua, W, Faustini, SE, Veenith, T, Thwaites, RS, Openshaw, PJM, Drayson, MT, Shields, AM, Cunningham, AF, Wraith, DC & Richter, AG 2023, 'SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with anti-desmoglein 2 autoantibody detection', Clinical and Experimental Immunology, vol. 213, no. 2, pp. 243-251.

PITCH Consortium, CONSENSUS & OCTAVE Collaborative Group 2023, 'SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses and clinical outcomes after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with immune-suppressive disease', Nature Medicine.


Elhaj, MO, Richter, AG, Goddard, S & Shields, AM 2023, 'Dose reductions in immunoglobulin replacement are associated with increased antibiotic usage in patients with antibody deficiency', British Journal of Haematology, vol. 202, no. 4, pp. 900-903.

View all publications in research portal