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The Kennedy Institute

The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Research

Founded in 1965, the Kennedy Institute was originally an independent research institution run by the Trust, before becoming part of Imperial College in 2000 and then the University of Oxford in 2011.

However, the relationship between the Trust and the Institute has remained strong, with the Trust contributing £23m towards the cost of the Institute’s new building and facilities at the University of Oxford, which opened in 2013.

Directed by Professor Fiona Powrie FRS, the Institute now houses approximately 240 staff, students and academic visitors working in the areas of immunity and microbiome, inflammation biology and tissue remodelling and regeneration.

Whilst the Trust has expanded the scope of its funding beyond the Institute in recent years, it still continues to contribute significantly to its current grant funding, in the form of Fellowships, doctoral studentships and Senior Investigator Awards.



Professor Michael Dustin

Professor Michael Dustin

Professor Dustin joined the Kennedy Institute as Head of Immunology in 2013, with a Principal Research Fellowship jointly funded by the Kennedy Trust and the Wellcome Trust. His research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2000 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering and the 2012 DART-NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award.

Professor Dustin’s current research uses intravital microscopy to probe inflammatory mechanisms. His particular focus is on targeting therapies to the immunological synapse to cure chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Professor Mark Coles

Professor Mark Coles

Professor Coles graduated with a BSc in Microbiology from Cornell University, before completing a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Kennedy Institute from the University of York, where he worked for 11 years as a lecturer and Professor of Immunology.

In addition to his close collaboration with Professor Chris Buckley on the A-TAP programme [insert link], Professor Coles is also the Director of Graduate Studies at the Institute. His research groups use interdisciplinary approaches to identify novel methods to therapeutically target immune mediated inflammatory disease.


Dr Tal Arnon

Dr Tal Arnon

Dr Arnon joined the Kennedy Institute in 2014, following completion of a PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco.

Dr Arnon’s current research explores the unique features of splenic immune responses, focusing on the roles of specialized subsets of macrophages and innate immune cells in the regulation of B cell behaviour.


Professor Tonia Vincent

Professor Tonia Vincent

Professor Vincent is an academic rheumatologist, having qualified at UCL and undertaken a PhD at the Kennedy Institute. She continued at the Institute as a Wellcome Trust clinician scientist and subsequently as an Arthritis Research UK Senior Fellow.

Professor Vincent directs the Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis. Her current research includes the analysis of synovial fluid samples from around 1,200 patients with osteoarthritis to determine the molecular endotypes of the disease.