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.
In 2022, Colin was awarded an Emeritus Professorship within the College of Life Sciences.
Colin has an extracurricular interest in conservation and ecology. He 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.
DC Jones*, CRA Hewitt*, MR Lopez-Alvarez, M Jahnke, AI Russell, V Radjabova, ARZ Trowsdale and J Trowsdale. Allele-specific recognition by LILRB3 and LILRA6 of a cytokeratin 8 - associated ligand on necrotic glandular epithelial cells. Oncotarget 2016;7:15619-15631. https://doi.org/10.18632%2Foncotarget.6905 (*Authors contributed equally)
DA Dawson, O Kleven, N dos Remedios, GJ Horsburgh, RT Kroglund, T Santos and CRA Hewitt. A multiplex microsatellite set for non-invasive genotyping and sexing of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). Conservation Genetics Resources 2015;7:887-894. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12686-015-0497-4
C Phillips, WR Coward, DI Pritchard and CRA Hewitt. Basophils express a type 2 cytokine profile on exposure to proteinases from helminths and house dust mites. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2003;73:165-171. https://doi.org/10.1189/jlb.0702356
J Grigg, CRA Hewitt, C McGarr, W MacNee and K Donaldson. 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 2002;46:227-230. https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/46.suppl_1.227
MC McKean, MD Leech, PC Lambert, CRA Hewitt, SH Myint and M Silverman. An adult model of coronavirus-induced wheeze: Changes in symptoms compared to lung physiology. European Respiratory Journal. 2001;18:23-32. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/18/1/23
WJ Lawley, S Fletcher, IB Squire, KL Woods and CRA Hewitt. T cell recognition of discrete regions of the immunogenic drug, Streptokinase. Clinical Science. 2000;99(3):239-246. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11787478/
IB Squire, WJ Lawley, S Fletcher, E Holme, WS Hillis, CRA Hewitt and KL Woods. Humoral and cellular immune responses up to 7.5 years after administration of streptokinase for acute myocardial infarction. European Heart Journal. 1999;20(17):1245-1252. https://doi.org/10.1053/euhj.1999.1528
H Horton, SD Weston and CRA Hewitt. Allergy to antibiotics: T cell recognition of amoxicillin is HLA-DR restricted and does not require antigen processing. Allergy. 1998;53(1):83-88. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1398-9995.1998.tb03778.x
DI Pritchard, CRA Hewitt, and R Moqbel. The relationship between immunological responsiveness controlled by T-helper 2 lymphocytes and infections with parasitic helminths. Parasitology. 1997;115(7):33-44. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0031182097001996
CRA Hewitt, AP Brown, BJ Hart, and DI Pritchard. A major house dust mite allergen disrupts the IgE network by selectively cleaving CD23: Innate protection by antiproteinases. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1995;182:1537-1544. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.182.5.1537
F Niedergang, A Hemar, CRA Hewitt, MJ Owen, A Dautry-Varsat and A Alcover. The Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B superantigen induces specific T-cell receptor down-regulation by increasing its internalisation. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1995;270:12839-12845. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.270.21.12839
L Wedderburn, RE O'Hehir, CRA Hewitt, JR Lamb and MJ Owen. 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. 1993;90(17):8214-8218. https://doi.org/10.1073%2Fpnas.90.17.8214
CRA Hewitt, JR Lamb, JD Hayball, M Hill, MJ Owen and RE O'Hehir. Major histocompatibility complex independent clonal T-cell anergy by direct interaction of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B with the T-cell antigen receptor. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1992;175:1493-1499. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.175.6.1493
As an Emeritus Professor, Colin continues to contribute to teaching across the College