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

Meet Dr. Dixon
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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 Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, employing cutting-edge methodologies such as high-throughput sequencing, single-cell analysis, multi-omics and organ-on-a-chip approaches. By delving into the intricate molecular mechanisms and phenotypic responses governing inflammation and immune responses, we strive to elucidate the intricate interplay between vascular physiology and pathophysiology.


The Gavins lab leverages advanced imaging techniques such as confocal intravital microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and in-vivo imaging systems (IVIS), to dissect the intricate roles of immune cells (including neutrophils and platelets) in orchestrating inflammation, thrombosis, and vascular dysfunction. Our investigations span from elucidating molecular signalling pathways orchestrating immune cell recruitment to unravelling the intricate crosstalk between different cell types within the tissue microenvironment.


Browse some of our current projects here:

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Harnessing our immune system to protect against ageing

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Phenotypic & functional profiling of immune cells


Developing non-mammalian models for thrombosis research

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Targeting Thromboinflammation in cardiovascular disease

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Pharmacological approaches for inflammation resolution


Promoting inflammation resolution in

Sickle Cell Disease

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Investigating Microvasculature dysfunction

Past Projects

Browse some of our past research projects here:


Modelling the pathogenesis

of COVID-19

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Post-doctoral researcher
or research assistant

Coming Soon!

Watch this space for more details about the position! Advert due out late March/early April 2024. Contact Professor Gavins for more details.

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Our latest
publlication in


Check out our latest publication discussing the wonderful world of annexins and their role in cell signalling, along with our views on the future ressearch directions in the field

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Latest research 3R's
news on


Excited to be able to shortly share our research findings using alternative approaches to non-mammalian methods in thromboinflammation 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 joined Imperial College London to take up a BBSRC-funded 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. 2024 cohort are:

Paula Eva Podniesinski (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Abishan Suthaarshan (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Maryaam Khaawaia (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Zakria Rashid (Biomedical Sciences BSc)

Nigah Ul-Hassaan Bokhari (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 -->

Image by Merakist


To see opportunites to joing the Gavins lab, click here -->

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Consultancy & Collaboration

With over two decades of unparalleled experience in mode-of-action pharmacology, our team stands ready to guide you towards cost-effective and scientifically robust approaches. We specialize in integrating advanced mechanistic and experimental strategies to explore immune regulatory pathways, shedding light on the intricate interplay between thrombosis and inflammation.

Our expertise extends to a diverse array of inflammation-driven disease models, ensuring comprehensive and insightful investigations into the complexities of immune-mediated disorders.

We also take an active partnering approach and welcome inquiries for collaboration.

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.

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