Professor Colin Hewitt

Head of School of Biological Sciences FRSB SFHEA

School/Department: Biological Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5587



Colin Hewitt studied Immunology at King's College London with an industrial year at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. After graduating with a first-class BSc, he studied for a PhD in human T cell immunology at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Tumour Immunology Unit at University College London and Imperial College London
As a postdoc, Colin worked on the cloning and expression of antigen specific T cell antigen receptors at the ICRF in Lincolns Inn Fields, London and later on superantigens and house dust mite allergens at Imperial College London.
In 1993, Colin joined the University of Leicester as an Independent Research Fellow at the newly-opened Centre for Mechanisms of Human Toxicity which housed the recently relocated MRC Toxicology Unit. Here, he worked on the immunological mechanisms of allergies to antibiotics, the allergenicity of house dust mites, immunological responses to therapeutic streptokinase, and respiratory virus exacerbated asthma and childhood wheeze.
In 2019, he was appointed Professor of Bioscience Education in the School of Biological Sciences and was Head of the School of Biological Sciences between 2017 and 2022.
Colin has an extracurricular interest in conservation and ecology, is a licenced bird ringer and takes part in field research coordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology in the UK, Europe and Africa.


Colin is interested in assessment academic integrity governance quality and standards and programme development in higher education.



Jones DC* Hewitt CRA*, Lopez-Alvarez MR, Jahnke M, Russell AI, Radjabova V, Trowsdale ARZ, Trowsdale J. Allele-specific recognition by LILRB3 and LILRA6 of a cytokeratin 8 - associated ligand on necrotic glandular epithelial cells. Oncotarget 7, 15619 - 15631. 2016 

*These authors have contributed equally to this work.

Dawson DA, Kleven O, dos Remedios N, Horsburgh GJ, Kroglund RT, Santos T, Hewitt CRA. 2015 A multiplex microsatellite set for non-invasive genotyping and sexing of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Conservation Genetic Resources 7, 887-894.

Phillips, C, Coward, WR, Pritchard, DI, and Hewitt, CRA. 2003. Basophils express a type 2 cytokine profile on exposure to proteinases from helminths and house dust mites. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 73, 165-171.

Grigg, J, Hewitt, CRA, McGarr, C, MacNee, W, Donaldson, K, 2002. Homotypic aggregation of rat alveolar macrophages stimulated by ultrafine carbon black is associated with up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 46, 227-230.

McKean, MC, Leech, MD, Lambert PC, Hewitt, CRA, Myint, SH, Silverman, M. 2001. An adult model of coronavirus-induced wheeze: Changes in symptoms compared to lung physiology. European Respiratory Journal. 18, 23-32.

Lawley, WJ, Fletcher, S, Squire, IB, Woods, KL, and Hewitt, CRA. 2000. T cell recognition of discrete regions of the immunogenic drug, Streptokinase. Clinical Science. 99, 239-246.

Squire, IB, Lawley, WJ, Fletcher, S, Holme, E, Hillis, WS, Hewitt, CRA, and Woods, KL. 1999. Humoral and cellular immune responses up to 7.5 years after administration of streptokinase for acute myocardial infarction. European Heart Journal. 20, 1245-1252.

Horton, H, Weston, SD, and Hewitt, CRA. 1998. Allergy to antibiotics: T cell recognition of amoxycillin is HLA-DR restricted and does not require antigen processing. Allergy. 53:83-88.

Pritchard, DI, Hewitt, CRA, and Moqbel, R. 1997. The relationship between immunological responsiveness controlled by T-helper 2 lymphocytes and infections with parasitic helminths. Parasitology. 115:33-44.

Hewitt, CRA, Brown, AP, Hart, BJ, and Pritchard, DI. 1995. A major house dust mite allergen disrupts the IgE network by selectively cleaving CD23: Innate protection by antiproteinases. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 182:1537-1544.

Niedergang, F, Hemar, A, Hewitt, CRA, Owen, MJ, Dautry-Varsat, A and Alcover, A. 1995. The Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B superantigen induces specific T cell receptor down regulation by increasing its internalisation. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 270:12839-12845.

Wedderburn, L, O'Hehir, RE, Hewitt, CRA, Lamb, JR, and Owen, MJ. 1993. In vivo clonal dominance and limited T-cell receptor usage in human CD4+ T-cell recognition of house dust mite allergens. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 90:8214-8218. 

Hewitt CRA, Lamb JR, Hayball, JD, Hill M, Owen, MJ, and O'Hehir, RE. 1992 MHC independent clonal T cell anergy by direct interaction of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B with the T cell antigen receptor. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 175:1493-1499.



Teaching and learning in Higher Education


I teach Immunology, Genetics, Biochemistry and Field Evolution on our undergraduate Biological and Medical Sciences programmes and the School's MScs.

Press and media

Teaching in Higher Education. The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester. Bird ringing.


Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
Valuing People Award
University Distinguished Teaching Fellow


PhD (Sci) Pathology (Immunology)
Supervisor: Prof Sir Marc Feldmann FRS
Imperial Cancer Research Fund Tumour Immunology Unit, University College London and Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine (Charing Cross Hospital Medical School), London.
BSc (Hons) Immunology First Class honours
Kings College (Chelsea) London, University of London.

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