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International 3Rs Prize now open for applications. £30k prize (£2k personal award) for outstanding science with demonstrable 3Rs impacts.

NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science
Skills and Knowledge Transfer grant

Establishment of novel macrophage cell lines to study the pathogenesis of respiratory bacterial pathogens in lung alveolar macrophages

Head shot of Dr Fejer

At a glance

Award date
January 2021 - January 2023
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Dr Gyorgy Fejer
University of Plymouth


  • Replacement
Read the abstract
View the grant profile on GtR



Why did we fund this project?

This award aims to establish continuously growing, non-transformed macrophage cell lines to replace genetically modified (GM) mice used to study bacterial pathogenesis.

Lung alveolar macrophages are phagocytic cells that form part of the immune system’s defence against respiratory pathogens. GM mice are typically used to obtain macrophages for research but as the cells have a limited life span, animals are continually required to harvest cells for experiments. Using NC3Rs funding, Dr Gyorgy Fejer has developed continuously growing, non-transformed primary macrophages (MPI) as a model for lung alveolar macrophages. The cells are also sensitive to respiratory pathogens making them amenable for pathogenesis studies. Typically, over 300,000 cells can be isolated from a mouse, ten times this number can be isolated using Gyorgy’s method from one culture flask.

In this award, Gyorgy will train researchers from King’s College London and the Institut Pasteur, Korea to establish new macrophage cell lines from transgenic mice lacking various bacterial pathogen recognition sensors. The newly developed cell lines will be deposited in a repository to enable uptake by other researchers.