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The University of Southampton

Dr Jane Collins BSc, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, Deputy Programme Director, Integrated PhD Biomedical Sciences,Module Leader for Advanced Cell Biology,Postgraduate Pastoral Care Advisor

Dr Jane Collins's photo

Dr Jane Collins is Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.


Jane Collins' research interests centre on epithelial molecular cell biology with a strong emphasis in the study of cell-cell adhesion mechanisms and cellular differentiation. Her main research focus is the impact of inflammation on epithelial barrier properties and the regulation of innate immunity at mucosal surfaces, including airway, kidney and intestine. She leads a group based in the School of Medicine which comprises scientists, clinicians and postgraduate students, which is widely interactive with academics and clinicians within the School, the NHS and cross-faculty in the University.


Jane Collins was appointed Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine, University of Southampton in 2007. She began her postdoctoral studies with Professor David Garrod (University of Manchester) cloning and sequencing cDNA for desmocollins, calcium-dependent adhesive glycoproteins of desmosomes. She went on to study the transcriptional regulation of the desmocollin genes in the early mammalian embryo with Professor Tom Fleming at the University of Southampton in 1992 and Dr Roger Buxton at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill in 1996, before taking up a lectureship in the School of Medicine, University of Southampton in 1999.

In addition to research, Jane is an actively involved in teaching undergraduates and postgraduates and has a major role in coordinating the 4 year integrated PhD in Biomedical Sciences in the School of Medicine.



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

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.

Since coming to 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, kidney and airway and how these might be modified therapeutically in chronic diseases including asthma, kidney fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Current projects include the role of TNFα, IL-6 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.

Publications and collaborations

M.A. Hardyman, C. Molnar, E.J. Swindle, N. Gozzard, P.H. Howarth, D.E. Davies, J.E. Collins (2011). The Impact of TNFα on the Function of the Airway Epithelial Barrier. American Thoracic Society 2011 Denver Colorado USA.

University of Southampton and UCB Celltech, Slough, Berks.

A. Kirk , S. Campbell , P. Bass, J. Mason, J. Collins (2010). Differential expression of claudin tight junction proteins in the human cortical nephron. Nephrol Dial.Transplant. 25:2107-19.

University of Southampton and Wessex Renal Transplant and Research Unit, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth UK.

Sun T, Swindle EJ, Collins JE, Holloway JA, Davies DE, Morgan H (2010). On-chip epithelial barrier function assays using electrical impedance spectroscopy. Lab Chip. 10:1611-7.

School of Medicine and School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton.

Fesenko I, Franklin D, Garnett P, Bass P, Campbell S, Hardyman M, Wilson D, Hanley N, Collins J. (2010). Stem cell marker TRA-1-60 is expressed in foetal and adult kidney and upregulated in tubulo-interstitial disease. Histochem Cell Biol. 34:355-69.

Swindle EJ, Collins JE, Davies DE (2009). Breakdown in epithelial barrier function in patients with asthma: identification of novel therapeutic approaches. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 124:23-34.

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate research group

Infection and Immunity Research group

Faculty of Medicine

Deputy Programme Director, Integrated PhD Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton overseeing assessment and providing advice and feedback to university academic and administrative staff.
Module Leader for Advanced Cell Biology  
Postgraduate Student Pastoral Care Advisor
Postgraduate science student supervision. Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.
Undergraduate Science student teaching. Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Southampton

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Book Chapter


 Dr Collins is Deputy Director for the Integrated PhD Programme in Biomedical Sciences. In this role she oversees academic performance and gives guidance and support to staff and students on progression thorough Masters in Research to integrated PhD. 

 As Module Leader for Advanced Cell Biology, Dr Collins contributes lectures and marking and oversees the overall module assessment.

She has primary supervision of postgraduate clinical DM/PhD and science M.Phil/PhD students in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr Collins has supervised many students to completion of PhD within research council and university timelines as principle supervisor.

She gives undergraduate biological science lectures, exam setting and marking on Cellular and Molecular Pathology module for final year undergraduate science and M.Med Sci students.

Dr Collins also does undergraduate medical student primary supervision of lab-based study in depth and M.Med Sci projects in the Faculty of Medicine.


Dr Jane Collins
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number: SGH/SAB/LE60/MP813

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