Dr Zania Stamataki MSc, PhD

Zania Stamataki

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Senior Lecturer in Liver 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 inflammation and cancer.

Dr Stamataki is Chair of PERCAT, that delivers training and career development for postdocs and new principal investigators.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Dr Stamataki has been interested in understanding virus infectivity, transmission and neutralisation.

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 SARS-CoV-2, under CL3 conditions.


  • 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 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 Dr 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?
  • Why does the liver immune system fail to clear hepatitis B and C virus infection in some patients?
  • How can we prevent liver cancer and 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.

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


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 Chair of PERCAT
  • Mentor, for the British Society for Immunology Mentoring scheme
  • Role Model, for Aurora Leadership programme by Advance Higher Education
  • Women in Academic Medicine and Science (WAMS) steering group committee for Athena SWAN
  • STEM ambassador to promote Science and Technology for children and young people
  • Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCert. LTHE)


Recent publications


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, CA, 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

Melidis, L, Hill, HJ, Coltman, NJ, Davies, SP, Winczura, K, Chauhan, T, Craig, JS, Garai, A, Hooper, CAJ, Egan, RT, McKeating, JA, Hodges, NJ, Stamataki, Z, Grzechnik, P & Hannon, MJ 2021, 'Supramolecular Cylinders Target Bulge Structures in the 5' UTR of the RNA Genome of SARS-CoV-2 and Inhibit Viral Replication*', Angewandte Chemie (International Edition) . https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202104179

Roberts, A, Grafton, G, Powell, AD, Brock, K, Chen, C, Xie, D, Huang, J, Liu, S, Cooper, AJ, Brady, CA, Qureshi, O, Stamataki, Z, Manning, DD, Moore, NA, Sargent, BJ, Guzzo, PR & Barnes, NM 2020, 'CSTI-300 (SMP-100); a novel 5-HT3 receptor partial agonist with potential to treat patients with irritable bowel syndrome or carcinoid syndrome', Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, vol. 373, no. 1, pp. 122-134. https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.119.261008, https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.119.261008

Davies, SP, Terry, LV, Wilkinson, AL & Stamataki, Z 2020, 'Cell-in-Cell Structures in the Liver: A Tale of Four E’s', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 11, 650. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00650

Ast, J, Arvaniti, A, Fine, NHF, Nasteska, D, Ashford, FB, Stamataki, Z, Koszegi, Z, Bacon, A, Jones, BJ, Lucey, MA, Sasaki, S, Brierley, DI, Hastoy, B, Tomas, A, D’agostino, G, Reimann, F, Lynn, FC, Reissaus, CA, Linnemann, AK, D’este, E, Calebiro, D, Trapp, S, Johnsson, K, Podewin, T, Broichhagen, J & Hodson, DJ 2020, 'Super-resolution microscopy compatible fluorescent probes reveal endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor distribution and dynamics', Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 467 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14309-w

Davies, SP, Reynolds, GM, Wilkinson, AL, Li, X, Rose, R, Leekha, M, Liu, YS, Gandhi, R, Buckroyd, E, Grove, J, Barnes, NM, May, RC, Hubscher, SG, Adams, DH, Huang, Y, Qureshi, O & Stamataki, Z 2019, 'Hepatocytes delete regulatory T cells by enclysis, a CD4+ T cell engulfment process', Cell Reports, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 1610-1620.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.068

Davies, SP, Reynolds, GM & Stamataki, Z 2018, 'Clearance of Apoptotic Cells by Tissue Epithelia: A Putative Role for Hepatocytes in Liver Efferocytosis', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00044

Triantafyllou, E, Pop, OT, Possamai, LA, Wilhelm, A, Liaskou, E, Singanayagam, A, Bernsmeier, C, Khamri, W, Petts, G, Dargue, R, Davies, SP, Tickle, J, Yuksel, M, Patel, VC, Abeles, RD, Stamataki, Z, Curbishley, SM, Ma, Y, Wilson, ID, Coen, M, Woollard, KJ, Quaglia, A, Wendon, J, Thursz, MR, Adams, DH, Weston, CJ & Antoniades, CG 2017, 'MerTK expressing hepatic macrophages promote the resolution of inflammation in acute liver failure', Gut. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313615

Chung, B, Guevel, BT, Reynolds, G, Gupta Udatha, DBRK, Henriksen, EKK, Stamataki, Z, Hirschfield, G, Karlsen, TH & Liaskou, E 2016, 'Phenotyping and auto-antibody production by liver-infiltrating B cells in primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cholangitis', Journal of Autoimmunity. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2016.10.003

Burden, ST, Stamataki, Z, Hill, J, Molasiotis, A & Todd, C 2015, 'An exploration of food and the lived experience of individuals after treatment for colorectal cancer using a phenomenological approach', Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 137-145. https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12291

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Wiggins, BG, Aliazis, K, Davies, SP, Hirschfield, G, Lalor, PF, Reynolds, G & Stamataki, Z 2017, In Vitro and Ex Vivo Models to Study T Cell Migration Through the Human Liver Parenchyma. in GE Rainger & HM Mcgettrick (eds), T-Cell Trafficking: Methods and Protocols. vol. 1591, Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer, pp. 195-214. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-6931-9_14

Wiggins, BG, Stamataki, Z & Lalor, PF 2017, Using Ex Vivo Liver Organ Cultures to Measure Lymphocyte Trafficking. in GE Rainger & HM Mcgettrick (eds), T-Cell Trafficking: Methods and Protocols. vol. 1591, Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer, pp. 177-194. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-6931-9_13

Review article

Aghabi, YO, Yasin, A, Kennedy, JI, Davies, SP, Butler, AE & Stamataki, Z 2021, 'Targeting Enclysis in Liver Autoimmunity, Transplantation, Viral Infection and Cancer', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 662134. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.662134

Warner, S, Richter, A, Stamataki, Z & Kelly, D 2021, 'Understanding COVID-19: are children the key?', BMJ Paediatrics Open, vol. 5, no. 1, e001063. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjpo-2021-001063

View all publications in research portal