Dr Stuart M Curbishley PhD

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Medical and Dental Sciences

Contact details

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Centre for Liver Research
5th Floor IBR
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stuart is a liver immunologist who is closely involved in the development in novel vaccination approaches to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. In particular, his interests are in the field of immunotherapy with a focus on the use of immune cells to treat cancer. It is apparent that cancer patients with stronger anti-tumour immunity have the best prognosis. With new drugs becoming available to modulate the immune system Stuart’s work is now looking at how the combination of immune modulating therapies can improve the outcome for patients with cancer.

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  • PhD in Medicine, University of Birmingham 2005
  • MPhil in Molecular and Cellular Immunology and Oncology, University of Birmingham 2000
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, University of Westminster 1997


Following a BSc in Biomedical Science and an MPhil in Immunology and Oncology, Stuart studied for a PhD in the laboratory of Professor David Adams, completing these studies in 2005. His research focused on understanding leukocyte homing to the inflamed liver. Since then, he has become a key member of the NIHR Liver Biomedical Research Unit and the Centre for Liver Research (CLR). Based in the Institute for Biomedical Research, his research interests centre around the recruitment and role of dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages in immune regulation in the liver, with particular emphasis on the use of DC in immunotherapy strategies targeting liver cancer.

He has set up and manages a GCLP laboratory within the CLR running immune endpoint analyses for early phase clinical trials, transferring laboratory protocols to GMP compliant processes and developing clinical data sets for trial design studies. He has played a leading role in development of ImmunoTACE, an NIHR-funded randomised Phase II clinical trial led by Professor David Adams testing the efficacy of vaccination with DC pulsed with liver cancer antigens in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. As part of this work, Stuart has played an important role in developing the Advanced Therapies Facility, which is embedded within the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility and incorporates a GCLP laboratory and GMP cell therapy suite, for use in cellular immunotherapy studies.


  • BMedSc
    • Integrated Clinical Sciences
    • Liver Cell Biology
  • MSc Translational Medicine
  • MSc Cancer Immunology and Biotechnology (University of Nottingham)

Postgraduate supervision

Stuart has supervised several PhD, MSc and BMedSc students in the areas of leukocyte homing and cancer immunology.

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Stuart Curbishley 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.


Stuart’s current research focus is on the development of novel cell therapy platforms for the treatment of cancer.

Read more about our research:


Zimmermann HW, Bruns T, Weston CJ, Curbishley SM, Liaskou E, Li KK, Resheq YJ, Badenhorst PW and Adams DH (2016) Bidirectional transendothelial migration of monocytes across hepatic sinusoidal endothelium shapes monocyte differentiation and regulates the balance between immunity and tolerance in liver. Hepatology 63(1):233-46

Resheq YJ, Li KK, Ward ST, Wilhelm A, Garg A, Curbishley SM, Blahova M, Zimmermann HW, Jitschin R, Mougiakakos D, Mackensen A, Weston CJ and Adams DH (2015) Contact-dependent depletion of hydrogen peroxide by catalase is a novel mechanism of myeloid-derived suppressor cell induction operating in human hepatic stellate cells. J Immunol 194(6):2578-86

Weston CJ, Shepherd EL, Claridge LC, Rantakari P, Curbishley SM, Tomlinson JW, Hubscher SG, Reynolds GM, Aalto K, Anstee QM, Jalkanen S, Salmi M, Smith DJ, Day CP and Adams DH (2015) Vascular adhesion protein-1 promotes liver inflammation and drives hepatic fibrosis. J Clin Invest 125(2):501-20

Bernsmeier C, Pop OT, Singanayagam A, Triantafyllou E, Patel VC, Weston CJ, Curbishley S, Sadiq F, Vergis N, Khamri W, Bernal W, Auzinger G, Heneghan M, Ma Y, Jassem W, Heaton ND, Adams DH, Quaglia A, Thursz MR, Wendon J and Antoniades CG (2015) Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure have increased numbers of regulatory immune cells expressing the receptor tyrosine kinase MERTK. Gastroenterology 148(3):603-15.e14

Ward ST, Li KK, Hepburn E, Weston CJ, Curbishley SM, Reynolds GM, Hejmadi RK, Bicknell R, Eksteen B, Ismail T, Rot A and Adams DH (2015) The effects of CCR5 inhibition on regulatory T-cell recruitment to colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer 112(2):319-28

Khan MW, Curbishley SM, Chen HC, Thomas AD, Pircher H, Mavilio D, Steven NM, Eberl M and Moser B (2014) Expanded Human Blood-Derived gammadeltaT Cells Display Potent Antigen-Presentation Functions. Front Immunol 5:344

Ward ST, Li KK and Curbishley SM (2014) A method for conducting suppression assays using small numbers of tissue-isolated regulatory T cells. MethodsX 1:168-74

Fletcher NF, Sutaria R, Jo J, Barnes A, Blahova M, Meredith LW, Cosset FL, Curbishley SM, Adams DH, Bertoletti A and McKeating JA (2014) Activated macrophages promote hepatitis C virus entry in a tumor necrosis factor-dependent manner. Hepatology 59(4):1320-30

Liaskou E, Zimmermann HW, Li KK, Oo YH, Suresh S, Stamataki Z, Qureshi O, Lalor PF, Shaw J, Syn WK, Curbishley SM and Adams DH (2013) Monocyte subsets in human liver disease show distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics. Hepatology 57(1):385-98

Bhogal RH, Weston CJ, Curbishley SM, Adams DH and Afford SC (2012) Autophagy: a cyto-protective mechanism which prevents primary human hepatocyte apoptosis during oxidative stress. Autophagy 8(4):545-58

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