Dr Alba Llibre PhD

Alba Llibre

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Post-doctoral researcher
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Llibre trained as a biochemist, biotechnologist and virologist. She did her PhD in immunology and since then she has worked on host-pathogen interactions, with a particular focus on tuberculosis disease. 


  • PhD in Immunology, University of Oxford, 2015
  • MSc in Biology and Pathology of Viruses, Imperial College London, 2011
  • BA in Biochemistry, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 2010
  • BA in Biotechnology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 2010


Dr Llibre grew up in Barcelona, where she did her BA in Biotechnology and Biochemistry. She then moved to the UK to course a MSc in Virology at Imperial College London. She then had the opportunity to pursue a PhD in Human Immunology, funded by Obra Social la Caixa, at the University of Oxford, where she investigated the role of Lectin-Like Transcript 1 (LLT1) in germinal centres. Dr Llibre continued studying host immune responses in the context of infectious disease at the Insitut Pasteur in Paris. During this post-doctoral stage, funded by Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, she focused on understanding functional immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She also implemented a retrospective clinical study to validate a newly developed point of care HCV viral detection kit (in collaboration with Genedrive, UK).

Dr Llibre joined the University of Birmingham in 2020 as a Marie Skolodowska-Curie Individual Fellow. Here, she will investigate the host immune and metabolic responses in the context of tuberculosis disease.


  • Module on Metabolic Aspects of inflammatory Disease

Postgraduate supervision

During her PhD and postdoctoral studies, Dr Llibre has been involved in the supervision of:

  • MSc students (2)
  • PhD students (2)


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global public health problem in which one in four of the world’s population is latently infected. Host-directed therapeutics, in which drugs target host-mediated responses to pathogens rather than acting directly on the pathogen, are an emerging and promising strategy. In order to develop this approach towards new drugs for TB, we urgently require a comprehensive understanding of how host-pathogen interactions impact cellular pathways to regulate the immune response to the pathogen and influence disease outcome.

Metabolic reprogramming is crucial for determining successful immune responses. It is now well known that infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) induces a switch in cell metabolism to active glycolysis.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, combining the fields of clinical microbiology, immunology, metabolism and big data, Dr Llibre research focuses in answering the urgent question of how immune-metabolic responses impact the host’s ability to resolve M.tb infection. This knowledge has the potential to reveal new host immune-metabolic therapeutic targets for TB disease.

Other activities

  • 2018: Post-doctoral representative of the Immunology Department (Institut Pasteur)
  • 2015: Science writing for Bang! and Phenotype (Oxford's popular science magazines)


Rodrigues KB*, Dufort MJ*, Llibre A, Speake C, Rahman J, Bondet V, Quiel J, Linsley PS, Greenbaum CJ, Duffy D, Tarbell KV. Innate immune stimulation of whole blood reveals type 1 IFN hyper-responsiveness in type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia 2020. (Accepted).

Llibre A, Bilek N, Bondet V, Darboe F, Mbandi SK, Penn-Nicholosn A, Hatherill M, Rozenburg F, Scriba TJ, Duffy D. Plasma type I IFN protein concentrations in human tuberculosis. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2019. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00296.

Duffy D, Nemes E, Llibre A, Rouilly V, Filander E, Africa H, Mabwe S, Jaxa J, Charbit B, Musvosvi M, Mulenga H, the Milieu Intérieur Consortium, Thomas S, Hatherill M, Bilek N, Scriba TJ, Albert ML. Immune profiling in M. tuberculosis infection enables stratification of patients with active disease. BioRxiv 2019. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/581298v1

GI Rice, C Meyzer, N Bouazza, M Hully, N Boddaert, M Semarero, LAH Zeef, F Rozenberg, V Bondet, D Duffy, A Llibre, J Baek, MN Sambe, E Henry, V Jolaine, C Barnerias, M Barth, A Belot, C Cances, G Debray, D Doummar, ML Frémond, N Kitabayashi, A Lepelley, V Levrat, I Melki, P Meyer, MC Nougues, F Renaldo, M Rodero, D Rodriguez, A Roubertie, L Seabra, C Uggenti, H Abdoul, JM Treluyer, I Desguerre, SBlanche, YJ Crow. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome. N Engl J Med 2018. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1810983.

Llibre A, Shimakawa Y, Duffy D. Potential utility of the Genedrive point-of-care test for HCV RNA detection. Gut 2018. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-317218.

Llibre A, Duffy D. Immune response biomarkers in human and veterinary research. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2018.09.008.

Llibre A*, Bondet V*, Rodero MP, Hunt D, Crow Y, Duffy D. Development and validation of an ultrasensitive single molecule array digital ELISA for human IFNα. J Vis Exp. 2018. IF: 1.12. doi: 10.3791/57421.

Llibre A*, Shimakawa Y*, Mottez E, Ainswroth S, Buivan TP, Firth R, Harrison E, Rosenberg AR, Meritet JF, Fontanet A, Castan P, Madejon A, Laverick M, Pol S, McClure P, Irving W, Miele G, Albert ML, Duffy D. Development and clinical validation of the Genedrive point-of-care test for qualitative detection of Hepatitis C virus. Gut 2018. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315783.

Musvosvi M, Duffy D, Filander E, Hadn A, Mabwe S, Nkantsu L, Bilek N, Llibre A, Rouilly V, Hatherill M, Albert M, Scriba T, Nemes E. T cell biomarkers for diagnosis of tuberculosis: candidate evaluation by a simple whole blood assay for clinical translation. Eur Respir J 2018. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00153-2018.

Llibre A, Garner L,Partridge A, Freeman G, Klenerman P and Willberg CB. Expression of Lectin-Like Transcript-1 in human tissues. F1000Research 2016. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10009.1

Llibre A, Klenerman P and Willberg CB. Multi-functional Lectin-Like Transcript-1: a new player in immune regulation. Immunol Lett 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2016.07.007.

Llibre A, Lopez-Macias C, Marafioti T, Mehta H, Partridge A, Kanzig C, Rivellese F, Galson JD, Walker LJ, Milne P, Phillips RE, Kelly DF, Freeman GJ, El Shikh ME, Klenerman P and Willberg CB. LLT1 and CD161 expression in human germinal centers promotes B cell activation and CXCR4 downregulation. J Immunol 2016. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1502462.

Fergusson JR, Huhn M, Swadling L, Walker L, Kurioka A, Llibre A, Newell EW, Davis MM, Bertoletti A, Hollander G, Sverremark E, Powrie F, Capone S, Folgori A, Barnes E, Willberg CB, Ussher J, Klenerman P. CD161int CD8+ T cells: a novel population of highly functional, memory CD8+ T cells enriched within the gut. Mucosal Immunol. 2015. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.69.

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