Immunology Seminar Series: John Todd


    Immunology Seminar SeriesMay 9th at 14:00 – 15:00 (Finland time)

    Virtual event


    John Todd, University of Oxford: From genetics to disease mechanisms to clinical trials in type 1 diabetes

    Host: Riitta Lahesmaa ( )

    Registration latest May 8th at

    Immunology seminar series is jointly organised by the Finnish Society for Immunology, InFLAMES Flagship and Turku Bioscience. For further information contact Anne Lahdenperä ( or Riitta Lahesmaa (, University of Turku.




    John Todd FRS, FMedSci, FRCP Hons, PhD is Professor of Precision Medicine at the University of Oxford, Director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and of the JDRF/Wellcome Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory (DIL), and an Emeritus Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research. Previously, Todd was Professor of Human Genetics and a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and until 2016, Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Cambridge. His PhD was in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.  Todd researches type 1 diabetes (T1D) genetics and disease mechanisms with the goal of delivering clinical interventions. Todd helped pioneer genome-wide genetic studies in common diseases. He then went on to study the associations between disease-associated genetic variants and phenotypes in T1D by founding and deploying the Cambridge BioResource. In the latest phase of his research, to translate basic genetic and immunological knowledge to treatment and prevention, the DIL is testing the efficacy of low doses of interleukin-2 in newly-diagnosed children with T1D to preserve the remaining pancreatic islet beta-cell insulin production and investigating the role of the microbiome in T1D. Todd is also part of the international consortium, Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (GPPAD), aiming to establish primary preventions of T1D in randomised placebo-controlled trials, initially by testing the possibility that daily oral insulin given to children at high genetic risk of T1D can inhibit the autoimmunity that causes T1D.  Recently, he has helped establish and co-directs a new institute in Oxford in collaboration with GSK on the development of biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets in neurological diseases. His research in genetics and diabetes has received several awards and prizes, including the 1995 Minkowski Prize of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the 2021 EASD/Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence. Todd has supervised 40 PhD and MSc students with two in progress and has an h-index of 131 and over 40,000 citations from over 400 peer-reviewed publications.


    Selected publications:


    Jia-Yuan Zhang, Fiona Hamey, Dominik Trzupek, Marius Mickunas, Mercede Lee, Leila Godfrey, Jennie H.M. Yang, Marcin L Pekalski, Jane Kennet, Frank Waldron-Lynch, Mark L. Evans, Timothy I. M. Tree, Linda S. Wicker, John A. Todd, Ricardo C. Ferreira. Low-dose IL-2 reduces IL-21+ T cells and induces a long-lived anti-inflammatory gene expression signature inversely modulated in COVID-19 patients. medRxiv, 2023. doi:

    Arcadio Rubio García, Athina Paterou, Rebecca D. Powell Doherty, Laurie G. Landry, Mercede Lee, Amanda M. Anderson, Hubert Slawinski, View ORCID ProfileRicardo C. Ferreira, Dominik Trzupek, Agnieszka Szypowska, Linda S. Wicker, Luc Teyton, Nicola Ternette, Maki Nakayama, John A. Todd, Marcin L. Pekalski. HLA-DQβ57, anti-insulin T cells and insulin mimicry in autoimmune diabetes. medRxiv, 2023. doi:

    Zhang JY, Hamey F, Trzupek D, Mickunas M, Lee M, Godfrey L, Yang JHM, Pekalski ML, Kennet J, Waldron-Lynch F, Evans ML, Tree TIM, Wicker LS, Todd JA, Ferreira RC. Low-dose IL-2 reduces IL-21+ T cell frequency and induces anti-inflammatory gene expression in type 1 diabetes. Nat Commun. 13(1):7324, 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34162-3

    Richardson TG, Crouch DJM, Power GM, Morales-Berstein F, Hazelwood E, Fang S, Cho Y, Inshaw JRJ, Robertson CC, Sidore C, Cucca F, Rich SS, Todd JA, Davey Smith G. Childhood body size directly increases type 1 diabetes risk based on a lifecourse Mendelian randomization approach. Nat Commun. 13(1):2337, 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29932-y

    Warncke K, Weiss A, Achenbach P, von dem Berge T, Berner R, Casteels K, Groele L, Hatzikotoulas K, Hommel A, Kordonouri O, Elding Larsson H, Lundgren M, Marcus BA, Snape MD, Szypowska A, Todd JA, Bonifacio E, Ziegler AG; GPPAD and POInT Study Groups. Elevations in blood glucose before and after the appearance of islet autoantibodies in children. J Clin Invest. 132(20):e162123, 2022. doi: 10.1172/JCI162123