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The University of Southampton

Dr Jane Collins BSc Hons, PhD

Visiting Fellow

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Dr Jane Collins is a Visiting Fellow within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Jane Collins was appointed Associate Professor of Molecular Cell Biology in the School of Medicine, University of Southampton in 2007. Dr Jane Collins gained her doctorate in 1990 with a study of cell adhesion in colorectal cancer. She began her postdoctoral studies cloning genes for calcium-dependent adhesive glycoproteins of desmosomes. She went on to study their transcriptional regulation in the early mammalian embryo at the University of Southampton and the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, before taking up a lectureship in the School of Medicine, University of Southampton in 1999.

Dr Collins’ research interests centre on epithelial molecular cell biology with a strong background in the study of cell-cell adhesion mechanisms and cellular differentiation. She is widely interactive with academics and clinicians within the School, the NHS and cross-faculty in the University. Her main research focus is the regulation of innate immunity at tissue barriers and the effects of immune disruption on chronic inflammation and fibrosis in gut and lung disease.

In addition to research, Jane is an actively involved in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates and is Programme Lead for the 4 year integrated PhD and MRC DTP in Biomedical Sciences in the School of Medicine. She has a strong interest in student welfare and is a Pastoral Tutor for postgraduate students in the Faculty of Medicine.


BSc, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton (1984)
PhD University of Southampton (1990)

Appointments held

2007 to present: Associate Professor of Molecular Cell Biology Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.
1998-2007 Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, University of Southampton
1995-1998 MRC Research Training Fellow, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA.
1992-1995 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX.
1988-1992 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cell Adhesion Group, CRC Medical Oncology Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD

Research interests

The theme of Dr Collins’ research is mechanisms used by epithelia to maintain the tissue barriers that interface with the external environment, thus protecting the organism from inappropriate exposure to injurious antigens and the regulation of epithelial cytokine responses that impact on innate immunity. Integral to generating a stable epithelial boundary are cell to cell adherens and tight junctions between the cells. These intercellular adhesion sites selectively regulate tissue permeability, enabling the vectorial transepithelial movement of ions, sugars and proteins. In addition, they sequester signalling proteins, growth factor receptors and transcription factors reflecting their critical role in determining the phenotypic responses of cells in sites of tissue damage and inflammation.

At the University of Southampton, Dr Collins has applied her knowledge of epithelia to study the effect of inflammation with the aim of discovering strategies for preventing the deleterious and chronic effects of inflammation, with its negative implications for tissue homeostasis.

The recent emphasis of her studies concerns the innate immune response by epithelia in the gut, airway and how these might be modified therapeutically in chronic diseases including asthma, lung fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Current projects include the role of TNFα, WISP-1 and specific miRNAs in the coordination of epithelial barrier and inflammatory cytokine release. Dr Collins collaborates widely within the University and externally with other universities and pharmaceutical company scientists.

PhD Supervision

2018 Richard Felwick PhD
2017 Lyndsy Ambler PhD
2017 Natalie Day PhD
2016 Geraint Dingley PhD
2015 Emily Wilkinson PhD
2012 Michelle Hardyman PhD
2009 Manish Patel PhD
2008 Adam Kirk PhD PhD
2005 Annette Hayden PhD
2006 Roberto Mingrino PhD
2005 Shyam Prasad PhD
2005 Mark David Steel PhD

MPhil/PhD Research

2016-2020. Dissecting the WISP-1 Signalling Network in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. JE Collins, R.W. Ewing, DE Davies. Wessex Medical Research, Rosetrees Trust and AAIR Charity. 

2016-2025. MRC UKRI Doctoral Training Partnership in Translational Immunology. J.E.Collins, T.E.Elliott, M.S.Cragg Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton J.F.Marshall, Queen Mary’s University of London and Barts Cancer Institute UK

Respiratory and Allergy Research Group


Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate Department(s)

Infection and Immunity Research group

External Examiner - Masters in Science. University of Portsmouth, UK. 

Programme Lead MRC UKRI DTP in Translational and Biomedical Sciences.  Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton partnership with Queen Marys University of London and Barts Cancer Institute UK.

Programme Chair – Steering Group Integrated PhD Programme in Biomedical Sciences. Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Faculty Education Committee member. Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

 Postgraduate Student Pastoral Care Advisor - Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Programme Lead - 4 year Integrated PhD Programme in Biomedical and Translational Sciences. Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton. Dr Collins oversees the programme and coordinates university academic teaching and administration with staff on the programme.

Module Lead - Molecular and Cellular Pathology, 4th year Masters in Medical Sciences, Masters in Biomedicine. Dr Collins contributes lectures, marking and oversees the exam assessment.

Module Lead - Advanced Cell Biology, 4 year Integrated PhD Programme. Dr Collins contributes lectures, marking and oversees the exam assessment.

Postgraduate science student supervision. Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.

Undergraduate Science Lectures, exam setting and marking on Cellular and Molecular Pathology module for final year undergraduate science and M.Med Sci students. 

Undergraduate Medical student primary supervision of lab-based study in depth and M.Med Sci projects in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.



Dr Jane Collins
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH/SAB/LE60/MP813

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