Professor John Silke

Professor John Silke



John Silke



BA(Hons) Cantab LLB London PhD Zürich

Laboratory Head; Leader, Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Theme


Lab focus: cell death in inflammation and cancer

Research in my lab investigates proteins that can regulate both inflammation and cell death. We are revealing how these proteins contribute to inflammatory diseases including: psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, as well as cancer.

Our goal is to translate our discoveries into new treatments for these scourges.

Research interest

My lab is interested in how cell death and inflammation are regulated. We focus on three key families of molecules:

  • The tumor necrosis factor super family (TNFSF) that regulates the immune system and inflammation.
  • Ubiquitin E3 ligases that play an important role regulating signalling from the TNFSF and other critical immune regulators.
  • RIP Kinases, which play an important role in effecting inflammation, apoptotic and necroptotic cell death.

My lab uses a wide array of approaches including biochemistry, cell biology, small molecules and genetics so that discoveries made at the molecular level can be transposed into physiological findings in vivo. Using this approach I hope we can make medically relevant discoveries that can be translated into human treatments.

Scientists looking at a vial in a laboratory

An institute team has developed a molecule that can halt inflammation and has shown promise in preventing the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Animation still of dying cell

Institute researchers have been recognised for their contributions to the field of cell death research.