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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Ezra Aksoy


Early Careers Fellow - Lecturer

Centre: Biochemical Pharmacology

Telephone: +44(0) 20 7882 5920


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6962-1572

Ezra Aksoy obtained her BSc degree in Microbiology at the Kansas State University (USA) and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). Having obtained EMBO Long-term Fellowship and Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, she then moved to London to carry out her postdoctoral studies in the field of PI3K biology together with Prof Bart Vanhaesebroeck at the Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL. In 2013, she was appointed as a Lecturer to start the “Mucosal Immunity and Signalling” group within the William Harvey Research Institute.


Group members
Post-doctoral Researchers & Fellows: Luiz Ricardo Vasconcellos
PhD students: Laura Medrano


PI3K signalling role in shaping host-microbiome interactions
The intestinal mucosa is a large immunologic organ, lined up with trillions of microbes and plays a key role in the development of oral tolerance and host-defence. Our studies are aimed to uncover how phosphatidylinositol lipid signalling by phosphoinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) control innate immunity and translate innate immune receptor mediated signals during host-microbial interplay in the gastrointestinal tract to influence systemic immunity to pathogens, tolerance, and responses to immunotherapy. Elucidation of these fundamental mechanisms will help us uncover how conventional protective immune responses differ from pathogenic ones that result in autoinflammation and autoimmune disease.

PI3K role in the control of intestinal epithelial cell responses to intestinal injury and infection
The intestinal epithelium is the fastest self-renewing, complex and large tissue in mammals. Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) play an essential role in the absorption of nutrients and provides the primary physical and biochemical barrier against pathogens, yet while induce tolerance to food antigens and commensal microbiota. Our group studies the molecular mechanisms how PI3K signalling shapes IEC regenerative response to changes in metabolic cues and microbial products under normal conditions and injury states.

Key Publications

Full list of publications

  1. TLRs toll for Tregs. Aksoy E.  J Leukoc Biol. 2019 Sep 17. doi: 10.1002/JLB.2CE0619-184R. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31529712
  2. Metabolic and Innate Immune Cues Merge into a Specific Inflammatory Response via the UPR. Mogilenko et al. 2019 May 16;177(5):1201-1216.e19. PMID: 31031005
  3. The Isoform Selective Roles of PI3Ks in Dendritic Cell Biology and Function. Aksoy E, Saveanu L, Manoury B. Front Immunol. 2018 Nov 15;9:2574. PMID: 30498491
  4. NF-κB activation and severity of gastritis in Helicobacter pylori-infected children and adults. Bontems P, Aksoy E, Burette A, Segers V, Deprez C, Mascart F, Cadranel S. Helicobacter. 2014 Jun;19(3):157-67. PMID: 24661597
  5. The p110δ isoform of the kinase PI(3)K controls the subcellular compartmentalization of TLR4 signaling and protects from endotoxic shock. Aksoy E, Taboubi S, Torres D, Delbauve S, Hachani A, Whitehead MA, Pearce WP, Berenjeno IM, Nock G, Filloux A, Beyaert R, Flamand V, Vanhaesebroeck B.Nat Immunol. 2012 Nov;13(11):1045-1054. PMID: 23023391


Prof Sussan Nourshargh (WHRI); Prof Mauro Perretti (WHRI)

Bart Vanhaesebroeck; Benedicte Manoury; David Dombrowicz; Klaus Okkenhaug; Simon Carding; Tom Wileman; Julie Guillermet-Guibert



  • Luiz Ricardo Vasconcellos successfully completed a European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant and joins Prof. Michael Way Lab at The Francis Crick Institute.
  • Dr. Ezra Aksoy will act as an expert an International expert evaluator of the Doctoral INPhINIT fellowship programme in 2022.
  • Dr. Ezra Aksoy was selected as the Jury full member for the AstraZeneca Award - Regenerative Medicine 2021 of AstraZeneca Foundation, the Funds for Scientific Research in Belgium (FNRS/FWO)  to reward an innovative scientific research on new strategies in regenerative medicine.
  • Awarded Bart’s charity grant for the development of a new IBD stratification strategy (2019)
  • Luiz Ricardo Vasconcellos (Brazil) joins the group as a postdoc fellow with the project ‘PI3K role in dendritic cell antigen processing and presentation to control gut tolerance (PI3K in gut immune tolerance), which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 845908”.
  • Alba Bosquet (Spain) joins the group (2018)
  • Awarded Willoughby PhD studentship (2016)
  • Dr Maria Gonzalez (Spain) joins the group and is awarded a Marie Curie EU Horizon CoFund grant (2015)
  • Awarded EU-COFUND (2016)
  • Awarded MRC New Investigator award (2015)
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