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Fellows Directory

Colin Watts

Professor Colin Watts FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2005



ORCID 0000-0001-6183-2087


Colin Watts is an immunologist and cell biologist who focuses his research on the immune system. Specifically, Colin is interested in discovering how antigens — foreign substances such as bacteria that are a threat to the body — and vaccines are captured by so called antigen-presenting cells and made visible to the immune system. His research holds potential for increasing the effectiveness of vaccines.

Colin’s lab was one of the first to dissect antigen/vaccine capture, processing and presentation in detail and revealed key information about the cell biology and biochemistry of these events. More recently, the group has extended its interests to the additional functions and regulation of the proteolytic enzymes found in the endosomes and lysosomes of the cell.

Colin is Professor of Immunobiology at the University of Dundee. As well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Professional positions

Philip Leverhulme Prize Panel, The Leverhulme Trust
Scientific Advisory Committee, The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Antigen presentation, Antigen processing and recognition, Cysteine protease inhibitors, Cysteine proteases, Dendritic cells, Endocytosis