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We unravel the complexities of immune responses in vascular inflammation to improve the treatment of human diseases 

Meet Dr. Dixon

About us


Our research tackles one of the most important drivers of disease:

The main focus of our laboratory is to elucidate and understand the complex roles played by immune cells in vascular inflammation and thrombosis, with the aim of designing tailored next generation therapeutics for inflammatory pathologies that temper inflammation and enhance resolution.

Within the continuum of an inflammatory response, we study the role of the microvasculature as a dynamic interface between circulating blood cells and immune cells (such as neutrophils and platelets) and tissue. We focus on how circulating cells communicate, adhere, and migrate across the endothelium and the pathways by which these circulating and resident cells can render systemic inflammatory responses and alter local inflammatory and thrombotic states.


We are particularly interested in targeting the body’s own (i.e. endogenous) pro-resolving pathways such as the Annexin A1-Formyl Peptide Receptor (AnxA1-FPR) pathway. These endogenous pathways and their mediators help our bodies fight off infections, helping us to remain healthy. However, recent findings suggest that these endogenous pathways and mediators become defective in several diseases such as cardiovascular disease sepsis, and sickle cell disease. As such, we are focussing our efforts to further understand these endogenous pathways and mediators and why they become defective to help identify novel and innovative anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic therapeutics to address some of humanity’s greatest unmet needs in healthcare.  


None of our work would be possible without the generous support from our funders including:

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In addition to public funders, we have established strategic partnerships with leading biotech and pharmaceutical industries with the common goal to accelerate the translation of our discoveries from the lab to the clinic. 

Interview with Professor Gavins

Professor Felicity N.E. Gavins is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and the recipient of a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship. She is also the Director of The Centre for Inflammation Research and Translational Medicine (CIRTM) at Brunel University London. In this video, she discusses her research vision and activity focused on the identification of novel therapeutic strategies to reduce inflammation.

        For more public outreach activities click here -->

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Research Projects


Modelling the cardiovascular effects of 

L-type calcium channel blockers

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chemical-induced perturbation of 

human metabolism

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Advancing the mechanistic understanding of



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New strategies to support 

Adverse Outcome 

Pathway (AOP) 


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Shedding light on 

the link between inflammation 

and behaviour

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Research Projects

Research Projects

Our research crosses the boundaries between Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology and uses multidisciplinary approaches to advance understanding of the vascular physiology and pathophysiology of inflammatory and related disorders, at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole organism levels.


To achieve this goal, we use a technological toolbox compromising of various experimental in silico, in vitro and in vivo systems and imaging modalities (including confocal intravital microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]; positron emission tomography [PET], and in-vivo imaging systems [IVIS]), coupled with multi-omics approaches to dissect the contribution of neutrophils and platelets in inflammation, thrombosis and vascular dysfunction.

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Manipulating our immune system to protect against ageing

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Pharmacological strategies for inflammation resolution

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Investigating cerebral microvasculature dysfunction


Promoting inflammation resolution in

sickle cell disease

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Thromboinflammation associated with cardiovascular diseases


Modelling the pathogenesis

of COVID-19




Post-doctoral researcher
or research assistant

Available NOW!

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New lab member!
Welcome to
Thomas Williams

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New lab member!
Welcome to
Amina Ali

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic post-doctoral researcher or research assistant to join our team to work on immune cell functions in inflammation.

Click here for full deails. 

Welcome to Tom, who will be joining our lab from King's College London to carry out his PhD project to advance our knowledge on inflammation resolution pharmacology in ageing

Amina will join our lab in October 2023 to start a PhD project funded by Brunel’s Dean studentship program. Her research will be on inflammation and the development of non-mammalian models for thrombosis research.

                               To see past news click here -->



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Felicity N.E. Gavins 

BSc (Hons)., Ph.D., FRSB,


Principal Investigator

Group Leader

Professor of Pharmacology

Royal Society Wolfson Fellow

Felicity read Pharmacology at the University of Sunderland, where she also embarked on an industrial placement year at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. After completing her BSc (Hons), she studied for a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at Queen Mary University London, supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Felicity was then awarded a BHF Junior Research Fellowship and in 2007 she joined Imperial College London to take up a Lectureship position in the Centre for Integrative Mammalian Physiology and Pharmacology. This was shortly followed by a senior lectureship and the appointment to Deputy Head of The Centre of Neurodegeneration & Neuroinflammation. In 2013 she accepted an academic position with tenure at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport (USA) and was appointed Director of The Small Animal Imaging Facility. Felicity joined Brunel University London in 2019 as Professor of Pharmacology and Royal Society Wolfson Fellow, and is also the Director of The Centre for Inflammation Research and Translational Medicine (CIRTM).

Throughout her academic career, Felicity has worked with, and served on, numerous national and international research councils, medical charities and learned societies. She has published widely in her field and received a number of awards and honours for her work. She is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and of the Royal Society of Biology. Felicity continues to be actively involved in public and patient organizations which has been immensely instructive for her research. She is also dedicated to promoting mentoring and collaborative research, along with facilitating mentoring of post-doctoral research fellows and early-career investigators.


Young Student

Under recruitment.

Coming soon!




PhD Student

Sophie is PhD candidate, holding a 3-year PhD studentship co-funded by a pharma indutry partner. Her research is aimed at exploring the translational value of resolution biologics for the treatment of stroke. Sophie graduated in Biological Sciences and ARCS at Imperial College London, and obtained a MSc in Biopharmaceutical Development from the University of Leeds, during which she undertook a 6-month placement period as Immunology Scientist at the CRO Labcorb Drug Development.

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Thomas Williams

PhD Student

Tom is a 3-year PhD student studying the field of resolution pharmacology in ageing to help drive forward next generation personalised medicines for the treatment of age-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Tom graduated in Biology from the University of Portsmouth, and has gained experience as a research assistant at King’s College London, and industry experience at Plasticell LTD.

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PhD Student



Tharushi Kotigalage

Research Placement Student

Tharushi is an undergraduate student studying for a degree in Boisciences at Brunel University London. She will join our lab in September 2023 to undertake a research placement as part of her degree programme. Tharushi will be investigating immune cells in healthy ageing.

Amina is a PhD candidate funded by a 3-year Dean’s PhD studentship. Her research will focus on developing non-mammalian models for thrombosis research and characterising the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs within these models. Before joining the Gavins lab, at Brunel University London, Amina graduated in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Reading.



BSc & MSc interns

Every year, the Gavins Lab hosts several BSc and MSc interns carrying out their final research projects in inflammation biology. 2023 cohort are:

Maida Moeen (Disease mechanisms and Therapeutics MSc)

Matej Bartak (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Ayla Yetkin (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Sumayyah Mughal (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Haya Jamalallail (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Keira Sharp (Biomedical Sciences BSc)



The Gavins Lab is at the centre of a wide global network of collaborations with leading scientists in the field:

Professor Paul Kubes (University of `Calgary - School of Medicine, Canada)

Professor Rafal Pawlinski (University of North Carolina - School of Medicine, USA)

Dr Neeraj Dhaun (Bean) (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Emeritus Professor Robert P. Hebbel  (University of Minnesota, USA)

Professor Mauro Perretti (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Professor Charles N. Serhan (Harvard Medical School, USA)

Professor Jesmond Dalli (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Professor Ursula Rescher (Münster University, Gerrmany)

Dr Luigi Margiotta-Casaluci (King's College London, UK)

Professor Rebecca H. Ritchie (Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia)

Professor Michael Hickey (Monash University, Australia)

Professor Nicholas Long (Imperial College London, UK)

Professor Ikuo Tsunoda (Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Japan)



To see a list of past lab members click here -->

Contact us


Professor Felicity N. E. Gavins 

Brunel University London,

College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences,

The Centre for Inflammation Research and Translational Medicine (CIRTM),

Department of Life Sciences,

Heinz Wolff Building ,

Office 111 ,

London, UB8 3PH,

United Kingdom.

M: under request ​

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