Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Duncan

Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow, Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases


  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University
  • Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Previous Positions
  • Faculty Fellowship, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, 2017-2018
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Newcastle University, 2014-2016
  • Specialty Registrar in Infectious Diseases and G(I)M, Northern Deanery, 2013-2017
  • Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians, University of Oxford 2010-2013
  • Phizackerley Senior Scholarship, Balliol College Oxford 2012-2013
  • Clinical Research Fellow, University of Oxford, 2009-2010
  • Specialty Registrar in Infectious Diseases and G(I)M, West of Scotland Deanery, 2007-2013

  • BMed Sci (1st Class Hons.) University of Aberdeen, 2001
  • MB ChB (Distinction) University of Aberdeen, 2003
  • MRCP (ID) Royal College of Physicians, 2006
  • DPhil University of Oxford, 2014

Professional Responsibilities
  • Sample access committee, Newcastle Academic Health Partners Bioresource
  • Joint Research Scientific Executive Committee
  • Member, Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP)
  • Member: BIA, BSI, ESID
  • Peer reviewer (NEJM, BMJ, JID etc.)

Clinical interests

I am a practicing clinician, and do regular clinics in adult infectious diseases and a joint clinic with colleagues in Immunology. My specialist interests include viral disease, primary immune disorders, infection in the immunocompromised host, and pyrexia of unknown origin.



My research aims to define protective and deleterious mechanisms of innate antiviral immunity, to better understand their contribution to severe viral disease pathogenesis. I seek insight through the dissection of monogenic disorders of innate immune signalling, to shed light on the normal action and regulation of these pathways, and how their perturbation leads to disease.

The type I interferon system is an exemplar of the importance of balance in immune signalling. We have shown that interferon signalling is essential to human antiviral immunity, but dysregulated responses can also drive inflammatory disease.

I have a longstanding interest in antiviral responses in macrophages, tissue-resident phagocytic cells which play important roles in protection and homeostasis, but which also act as potent mediators of deleterious inflammation. A particular focus are microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain parenchyma.

We employ cutting-edge techniques of disease modelling, combining CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in human primary cells with studies in model organisms.

I work closely with Professor Sophie Hambleton's Primary Immunodeficiency Group: 


  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (2018-2021)
  • British Infection Association, Research Fellowship (2017-2018)
  • MRC Confidence in Concept (2017-2018)
  • Academy of Medical Sciences, Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers (2014-2016)
  • British Infection Association, Project Grant (2014-2016)



BMS3021: Immunology lecturer and seminar leader


I coordinate Infectious Diseases teaching for the Physician Associate PG Diploma. 

I supervise MRes and PhD students, and welcome enquiries.