Dr Zania Stamataki MSc, PhD

Zania Stamataki

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Associate Professor of Viral Immunology

Contact details

Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Stamataki is interested in applying immunology and cell biology methodologies to understand liver diseases from autoimmune, viral or metabolic injury. Her team is using authentic human liver tissues to develop new therapies that restore immune regulation in liver injury, inflammation and cancer.

Dr Stamataki is academic lead for the containment level 3 (CL3) facility based at the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, and she is a passionate science communicator for viral and liver immunology. Dr Stamataki has authored several media pieces based on her expertise in viral and liver immunology which has been published online. Her most recent article on childhood pneumonia is available on the Conversation's website.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Stamataki has been interested in understanding SARS-CoV-2 virus infectivity, transmission and neutralisation, alongside other high containment viruses.

Her team has been working to evaluate the presence of infectious virus in clinical samples, virus inactivation of putative disinfectants and antibody neutralisation of replicating virus, in collaboration with academic, clinical and industrial partners.


  • Medici Enterprise Training Programme
  • Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, 2011
  • PhD Immunology, 2005
  • MSc Immunology, 2001
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology, 2000


Dr Zania Stamataki is a liver immunologist with an interest in immune regulation.

Dr Stamataki obtained her PhD in Immunology from Imperial College London (Professor Mary Ritter) together with the Institute for Animal Health, Compton (Dr Bryan Charleston). Her PhD studies characterised human, bovine and ovine follicular dendritic cells, a stromal cell type with a role in B cell effector functions, viral retention and prion disease.

Dr Stamataki went on to study the role of signalling molecules in B cell development with Dr Martin Turner at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. She came to the University of Birmingham in 2005 to study virus transmission and humoral immunity to infection in Professor Jane McKeating's Hepatitis C Research Group. Zania then moved to the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit for Liver Disease at the Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research with Professor David Adams, to work on lymphocyte-hepatocyte interactions and liver immunology.

Zania commenced her career as a principal investigator with a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, which is designed for those in need of flexible support. During this time, she looked more carefully at lymphocyte-hepatocyte interactions using imaging technologies, while she had two little boys and a mum deteriorating with motor neuron disease. The fellowship allowed her the freedom to explore ideas and build models that lead to the discovery of a new biological process that they termed “enclysis”, the enclosure and lysis of live regulatory T cells by hepatocytes.

Dr Stamataki is passionate about biomedical research for patient benefit and enjoys working closely with chemists, physicists, mathematicians, clinicians, medical and biomedical students, in addition to industrial partners interested in drug discovery. Her team is driven by innovation, integrity and impact, and they value creativity, honesty, collaboration and robustness in scientific discovery.


Teaching Programmes

Project Supervisor

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) run by Futurelearn

Dr Stamataki developed two liver disease-associated MOOCs together with Professor Patricia Lalor, to showcase research and clinical services at the Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research.

Liver Disease: Looking after your Liver

This course runs twice a year, and allows access to materials for months after registration. Register for free here to join a student community from around the world, to gain:

  • an insight into liver biology and how to look after your liver
  • a taste of our work at the Centre for Liver Research
  • access to resources for months beyond completion of this course

Liver Transplant: the Ins and Outs

This course runs twice a year, and allows access to materials for months after registration.

Register for free here to learn more about liver transplantation with unique insights from our patients, consultants and educators at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, one of the biggest transplant centres in Europe.

Postgraduate supervision

Zania is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • How does chronic inflammation take hold and how can we restore liver tolerance?
  • How does the immune system fight infection in tissues and why does it fail sometimes?
  • How can we reduce mortality from liver injury and cancer, and how can we promote liver regeneration?

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Zania Stamataki directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Zania is currently open to receiving applications from self-funded PhD students to be part of her Liver immunology, regeneration and viral infection projects (SARS-CoV-2, hepatitis viruses). If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Zania directly.


Research interests

The Stamataki Lab is located at the Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research (CLGR), University of Birmingham. See our latest lab news here.

We are fascinated by the intricate architecture of the liver and we are investigating how cells of the immune system influence and are influenced by the liver microenvironment to coordinate immune regulation.

Our lab uses cell biology, immunology and virology experiments to understand and quantify interactions between immune cells and liver resident cells. We build models to manipulate these interactions using human tissues and we develop novel drug candidate molecules, in collaboration with industrial partners.

Current projects

Liver disease kills more people than diabetes and road accidents combined, and deaths due to liver disease are projected to rise over the coming years (see report by the British Liver Trust, and UK perspective at the Lancet). We aim to understand how to reduce immune mediated liver damage in order to identify new cellular and molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

We study live human livers discarded from transplant operations under perfusion conditions, imaged by multiphoton microscopy. Our questions include:

  • How does chronic inflammation take hold and how can we restore liver tolerance?
  • Why does the liver immune system fail to clear hepatitis B and C virus infection in certain patients?
  • How can we prevent and treat liver cancer and promote liver regeneration?

Donated liver explants are vital for our research, which would not be possible without the consent of patients that undergo life-saving operations at the Queen Elizabeth hospital transplant unit. What is it like to be listed for transplantation? Alan Hyde discusses his experience here.

Other activities

Dr Stamataki is academic lead for Researcher Development at MDS, working together with Researcher Development Manager Dr Tim Giles to shape support for early and mid-career researchers. She is also:

Dr Stamataki sits on MDS committees to do with Research Culture, Researcher Development, Containment level 3 lab management and Biosafety. She also sits on University level forums on the Early Career Development Academy and is committed to The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, commonly known as the Researcher Concordat.


Recent publications


Harrison, N, Richardson, L, Pallini, C, Morano, I, Jinks, E, Cowley, J, Chan, H, Hill, HJ, Tuekprakhon, A, Li, Z, Matas de las Heras, C, Teodosio, A, Lavado, AS, Moring, R, Ashraf, A, Dafforn, TR, Grammatopoulos, DK, Gordon, J, Brady, CA, Young, LS, Barnes, NM, Stamataki, Z & Qureshi, OS 2023, 'A cell-based, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction assay to inform the neutralising capacity of recombinant and patient sera antibodies', Frontiers in Virology, vol. 3, 1163385. https://doi.org/10.3389/fviro.2023.1163385

Warner, S, Brown, RM, Reynolds, GM, Stamataki, Z & Kelly, DA 2023, 'Case report: Acute liver failure in children and the human herpes virus 6-? A factor in the recent epidemic', Frontiers in pediatrics, vol. 11, 1143051. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2023.1143051

Watson, R, Maxwell, M, Dunn, S, Brooks, A, Jiang, L, Hill, HJ, Williams, G, Kotowska, A, Nikoi, ND, Stamataki, Z, Banzhaf, M, Scurr, D, Bryant, JA & de Cogan, F 2023, 'Development of biocide coated polymers and their antimicrobial efficacy', Nano Select. https://doi.org/10.1002/nano.202300005

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjh.18714

Qi, S, Kiratzis, I, Adoni, P, Tuekprakhon, A, Hill, HJ, Stamataki, Z, Nabi, A, Waugh, D, Rodriguez, JR, Clarke, SM, Fryer, PJ & Zhang, ZJ 2023, 'Porous Cellulose Thin Films as Sustainable and Effective Antimicrobial Surface Coatings', ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c23251

Faustini, SE, Cook, A, Hill, H, Al-Taei, S, Heaney, J, Efstathiou, E, Tanner, C, Townsend, N, Ahmed, Z, Dinally, M, Hoque, M, Goodall, M, Stamataki, Z, Plant, T, Chapple, I, Cunningham, AF, Drayson, MT, Shields, AM & Richter, AG 2023, 'Saliva antiviral antibody levels are detectable but correlate poorly with serum antibody levels following SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination', Journal of Infection, vol. 87, no. 4, pp. 328-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2023.07.018

Watson, R, Oldfield, M, Bryant, JA, Riordan, L, Hill, HJ, Watts, JA, Alexander, MR, Cox, MJ, Stamataki, Z, Scurr, DJ & de Cogan, F 2022, 'Efficacy of antimicrobial and anti-viral coated air filters to prevent the spread of airborne pathogens', Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, 2803. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-06579-9

COV-AD consortium 2022, 'Increased Seroprevalence and Improved Antibody Responses Following Third Primary SARS-CoV-2 Immunisation: An Update From the COV-AD Study', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 912571. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.912571

Khan, A, Reyat, J, Hill, H, Bourne, J, Colicchia, M, Newby, ML, Allen, JD, Crispin, M, Youd, E, Murray, P, Taylor, G, Stamataki, Z, Richter, A, Cunningham, A, Pugh, M & Rayes, J 2022, 'Preferential uptake of SARS-CoV-2 by pericytes potentiates vascular damage and permeability in an organoid model of the microvasculature', Cardiovascular Research, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvac097

COV-AD consortium 2022, 'SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Responses in Individuals with Antibody Deficiency: Findings from the COV-AD Study', Journal of Clinical Immunology, vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 923-934. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10875-022-01231-7

Krysko, O, Bourne, J, Kondakova, E, Galova, E, Whitworth, K, Newby, ML, Bachert, C, Hill, H, Crispin, M, Stamataki, Z, Cunningham, A, Pugh, M, Khan, A, Rayes, J, Vedunova, M, Krysko, D & Brill, A 2022, 'Severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with high numbers of alveolar mast cells and their degranulation', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 968981. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.968981

Roberts, A, Tang, T, Stewart, F, Pallini, C, Wallace, G, Cooper, A, Scott, A, Thickett, D, Lugg, S, Pinkney, T, Taylor, G, Brock, K, Stamataki, Z, Brady, C, Curnow, J, Gordon, J, Qureshi, O, Barnes, N, Bentley, L, Juvvanapudi, J, Bancroft, H, Hemming, B, Ferris, C, Langman, G, Robinson, A, Chapman, J & Naidu, B 2021, 'Ex vivo modelling of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade under acute, chronic, and exhaustion-like conditions of T-cell stimulation', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 4030. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83612-3

Moakes, RJA, Davies, SP, Stamataki, Z & Grover, LM 2021, 'Formulation of a Composite Nasal Spray Enabling Enhanced Surface Coverage and Prophylaxis of SARS-COV-2', Advanced Materials. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202008304


McKemey, E, Shields, AM, Faustini, SE, Hill, HJ, Baranskaya, A, Stamataki, Z, Gompertz, S, Richter, AG, Dosanjh, D & Madathil, S 2021, 'Correction to: Resolution of Persistent COVID-19 After Convalescent Plasma in a Patient with B Cell Aplasia', Journal of Clinical Immunology, vol. 41, 930 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10875-021-01029-z

Review article

Mann, JP, Lenz, D, Stamataki, Z & Kelly, D 2022, 'Common mechanisms in pediatric acute liver failure', Trends in Molecular Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmed.2022.11.006

View all publications in research portal


Viral immunology; Liver immunology; virology; academic career development; early career researchers; mid-career researchers

Media experience

Articles in the Guardian

Articles in the Conversation