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Jo Spencer


SpencerHead of Department of Immunobiology

DIIID teaching lead

MBBS1 infection, Immunity and Inflammation Theme Lead

Medical Immunology MSc Immunodeficiency and Infection Control Module Lead

Lectures on the following modules and courses: Undergraduate modules in Molecular Immunology, Cellular Interactions in the Immune System and Immunology of Human Disease, MSc in                                                         Immunology, MSc in Medical Immunology and MSc in Rheumatology.
                                         Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 9609


Jo Spencer’s lab studies human immune physiology; in particular the structure and function of the human intestinal immune system, and how this influences aspects of systemic immunity and disease.    

The intestine hosts the diverse and abundant microbiota that maintain the intestinal immune system in chronically activated, healthy, homeostatic equilibrium.  Achieving this without inflammation requires uniquely strict control and anatomical compartmentalization, the biology of which is only partially understood.  

Selected Publications

  • Vossenkämper A, Blair PA, Safinia N, Fraser LD, Das L, Sanders TJ, Stagg AJ, Sanderson JD, Taylor K, Chang F, Choong LM, D'Cruz DP, Macdonald TT, Lombardi G, Spencer J. A role for gut-associated lymphoid tissue in shaping the human B cell repertoire. J Exp Med. 2013, 210:1665-74
  • Barone F, Vossenkamper A, Boursier L, Su W, Watson A, John S, Dunn-Walters DK, Fields P, Wijetilleka S, Edgeworth JD, Spencer J. IgA-producing plasma cells originate from germinal centers that are induced by B-cell receptor engagement in humans. Gastroenterology. 2011, 140:947-56
  • Barone F, Patel P, Sanderson JD, Spencer J. Gut-associated lymphoid tissue contains the molecular machinery to support T-cell-dependent and T-cell-independent class switch recombination. Mucosal Immunol. 2009, 2:495-503.
  • Boursier L, Gordon JN, Thiagamoorthy S, Edgeworth JD, Spencer J. Human intestinal IgA response is generated in the organized gut-associated lymphoid tissue but not in the lamina propria. Gastroenterology. 2005 128:1879-89.
  • Dunn-Walters DK, Isaacson PG, Spencer J. Analysis of mutations in immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region genes of microdissected marginal zone (MGZ) B cells suggests that the MGZ of human spleen is a reservoir of memory B cells.  J Exp Med. 1995 Aug 1;182(2):559-66.
  • Wotherspoon AC, Doglioni C, de Boni M, Spencer J, Isaacson PG. Antibiotic treatment for low-grade gastric MALT lymphoma.  Lancet. 1994 Jun 11;343(8911):1503.
  • Hussell T, Isaacson PG, Crabtree JE, Spencer J. The response of cells from low-grade B-cell gastric lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue to Helicobacter pylori.  Lancet. 1993 Sep 4;342(8871):571-4.


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