Back to list

Professor Adrian Liston 

Year started




Fellow Type

Senior Research Fellows,

Dr Adrian Liston is Senior Group Leader at the Babraham Institute and Senior Research Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. His PhD research was on T cell tolerance and diabetes with Professor Chris Goodnow at the Australian National University, followed by post-doctoral research on regulatory T cell biology with Professor Sasha Rudensky at the University of Washington. From 2009-2018, Dr Liston ran his independent laboratory and founded two core facilities, on flow cytometry and CrispR, at the VIB and the University of Leuven, in Belgium. In 2019, Liston relocated his research team to the Babraham Institute, in Cambridge, UK.

The Liston laboratory currently works on understanding the interaction between the immune system and the tissues, in particular the brain. The laboratory has extensive experience in the fields of autoimmune genetics, diabetes, primary immunodeficiencies, the thymus and regulatory T cells. Adrian Liston has been awarded the Francqui Chair, Eppendorf Prize and three ERC grants, among other honours.

Adrian Liston has published more than 160 scientific papers, with >10,000 citations and a h-index of >50, including key publications in the fields of:

•tneuroimmunology, in particular brain T cells and their interaction with microglia (Pasciuto et al, Cell 2020)
•tregulatory T cell biology, especially the homeostatic control over regulatory T cell numbers (Liston et al, J Exp Med 2008; Linterman et al, Nature Medicine 2011; Pierson et al, Nature Immunology 2013; Liston and Gray, Nature Reviews Immunology 2014)
•tsystems immunology, and the role of genes and the environment in shaping our immune system (Carr et al, Nature Immunology 2016; Lagou et al, Cell Reports 2018)
•tdiscovery of new genetic causes of primary immunodeficiencies (Masters et al, Science Translational Medicine 2016; Van Nieuwenhove et al, JACI 2020)
•tthymus biology, and the role of thymic epithelium in shaping the development of the immune system (Liston et al, Nature Immunology 2003; Liston et al, JEM 2004; Papadopoulou et al, Nature Immunology 2012)
•tdiabetes, from both the perspective of autoimmune T cells and the response of beta cells to stress (Liston et al, Immunity 2004; Nature Genetics 2016)
•tthe paradoxical relationship between immunodeficiency and autoimmunity (Siggs et al, Immunity 2007; Liston et al, Nature Reviews Immunology 2008)

Beyond his research interests, Dr Liston writes extensively about science careers: how early career scientists can navigate the academic career pathway, and what should be done to make scientific careers more equitable. Dr Liston openly discusses his experience as a scientist-parent, and has published the illustrated children’s books “All about Coronavirus” and “Battle Robots of the Blood”.

– Master of Public Health
– PhD (Medical Sciences)
– Graduate Certificate in Higher Education
– Bachelor of Science Honours
– Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)

Major awards

2001 – University Medal, Adelaide University
2005 – Frank Fenner Medal, Australian National University
2006 – RJ Menzies Leadership Award
2010 – ERC Start Grant Award
2010 – JDRF Career Development Award
2015 – Dr. Karel-Lodewijk Prize, Belgium
2016 – Francqui Chair
2016 – Eppendorf Award
2016 – ERC Consolidator Award
2020 – ERC Proof-of-Concept
2021 – elected Churchill College Senior Research Fellow

Complete List of Laboratory Publications

Lab website

Babraham Institute