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Personal profile

Research interests

We are exposed to a plethora of infectious and damaging agents such as pollutants as well as being colonised by a vast microbial population. The combination of events that impact us are termed the exposome and this will affect how, for example, we respond to infections. Our lab focuses on the sites that are particularly shaped by the exposome- our barrier sites and we use a variety of model systems to answer fundamental questions about the initiation and shaping of immunity.  Our research is multidisciplinary and uses a combination of computational and fundamental immunology and microbiology approaches. Our research is heavily informed by patient and public involvement and we strive to translate our research for public benefit.



Immunology is the science of the immune system, the body’s defence against infection. From birth to death, we are bombarded with potential infectious threats and damaging agents such as pollutants that our immune system must recognise and respond to. Yet, the immune system can be harmful too to us too when it isn’t properly controlled as is seen in allergies or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Our research focuses on how our immune responses get started and what the consequences of this is. Events that happen early in an immune response determine whether someone will be able to get rid of an infection or not or whether they get a chronic long-lasting infection or even an autoimmune disease like Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We look at how immune cells and threats like pollution damage interact to shape the nature of the immune response.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

FRSA, RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts)

2016 → …

Trustee and Public engagement secretary, British Society for Immunology


Leshner Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Areas of expertise

  • QR180 Immunology
  • Infection
  • Clinical Wound healing
  • Allergy
  • Barrier Tissues
  • Inflammation
  • microbiota
  • Immune Signaling
  • Exposome
  • pollution
  • Science Communication
  • Public engagement
  • Policy impact

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Lydia Becker Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Health Inequalities
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute
  • Policy@Manchester


Dive into the research topics where Sheena Cruickshank is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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