Professor Elma Tchilian

Professor of Mucosal Immunology, Pirbright Institute 


Professor Tchilian obtained her PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund before working as a postdoctoral fellow in Birmingham, Senior Research Scientist at the Edward Jenner Institute and Principal Investigator at Oxford University. Elma identified the leucocyte common antigen (CD45) as a cause of severe combined immunodeficiency in man and the role of CD45 variants in disease. In Oxford she demonstrated the importance of local immunity in vaccine induced protection against tuberculosis. 

Elma joined The Pirbright Institute in 2014 and is now head of Mucosal Immunology. She has established a powerful pig influenza model to study immunity to and transmission of influenza viruses and test efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics. 

Talk Overview

The overarching aim of Professor Tchilian’s research is to understand how best to harness mucosal immunity in protection against influenza and other respiratory pathogens. Elma will outline her most recent work on the role of resident memory T cells in respiratory infections, strategies to prevent transmission and the utility of the pig as a biomedical model.