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Research Themes



Skin cancer & Checkpoint Immunotherapy


We collaborate with Paul's team to further our understanding of MAIT cell function 
We are working with Hélène and colleagues to further our understanding of trans acting eQTL 

We are collaborating with Audrey's team to look at regulation of IFNG receptors across T cell subsets

Benjamin P Fairfax


Associate Professor

  • Principal Investigator
  • Consultant in Medical Oncology

Research Summary

I am interested in the genetic and epigenetic determinants of inter-individual variation in immune responses. This variation has a critical impact on events throughout our lives, from propensity to infection, to ability to respond to cancer immunotherapy. My group is using a variety of tools to explore these determinants and from these data get insights into improving human health.

For a full list of my work:


I did my PhD at the MRC-LMCB, UCL completing this in 2003 and then completed my clinical training in Oxford.

I was accepted onto the Oxford Academic Foundation programme and, having become interested in human genetics, took time away from clinical training to gain postdoctoral experience. I was awarded a Wellcome MB-PhD postdoctoral Fellowship and I did this in Julian Knight's group at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics. 

Upon completion of this I specialised in Medical Oncology. I see skin cancer patients as  a Consultant in the Oxford Cancer Centre. I am co-lead for Immunology on the NIHR Oncology Translational Research Group.


Alba Verge de los Aires, Research Assistant
Alba has extensive experience in numerous immunological techniques, having previously worked at the Institut Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris where she worked on B cell subsets. Alba started in the lab in November 2019 and contributes to all the projects as well as making sure the lab runs smoothly.
James is a Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics with an interest in the genetic determinants of gene expression with particular respect to immune cell function. He is currently investigating interactions between chronic viral infection and regulatory variants.

Dr Victoria Woodcock, Academic Clinical Lecturer
Victoria is a Clinical Lecturer in Medical Oncology with expertise in Cancer Immunity, and an interest in the identification of cancer recognising T cells. Her DPhil work, performed in Prof. Enzo Cerundolo's laboratory at the MRC HIU, employed both CyTOF and T Cell receptor sequencing to describe melanoma recognising T cells.

Isar started with the group in October 2017 and is the lead bioinformatician in the group. He is involved with multiple projects, but is particularly interested in context specific eQTL across immune cells. 

Ros is a trainee pathologist and started her DPhil in the group in 2017. She is looking at circulating DNA in cancer patients as well as exploring the myeloid responses to checkpoint blockade using single-cell sequencing.

Chelsea started her DPhil in the group in 2017 and is looking at T cells and B cells in cancer. She is is particular interested in mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells  - in both cancer and chronic viral infection.

Rob came to the group as an Academic Clinical Lecturer in Medical Oncology - he obtained a CRUK predoctoral fellowship and used single cell sequencing to explore peripheral CD8 T cell responses to immune checkpoint blockers. He is particularly interested in changes in clonal reperoire over time. 

Piyush is a trainee surgeon from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and started in the group in October 2019. Piyush is exploring how obesity and BMI interact with gene expression across T cells and the impact on responsiveness to checkpoint blockade.

Prior to starting his DPhil Orion worked at the Westmead centre in Sydney on dendritic cells in HIV. Orion started his work with us in October 2019 and is looking the genetic determinants of response to checkpoint blockade.


Sara Danielli, Research Assistant - Undertaking a DPhil with Jelena Mirkovic at the Kennedy Institute, Oxford