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A deeper understanding of pathogen biology and immune system function is underpinning the development of new tools to diagnose, prevent and treat infectious disease.
Our interests encompass many clinically important human pathogens:
bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, streptococci, MRSA, and Clostridium difficile
viruses, including HIV, cytomegalovirus, rabies, paramyxoviruses and influenza virus
fungi, including Cryptococcus
parasites, including the malaria parasite and intestinal helminths.
Our research on these organisms, and on host responses to them, falls into five themes:
pathogen biology and genomics
immunology and pathophysiology
therapeutics and vaccinology
clinical and tropical infection.
Building on an internationally leading bacterial microarray resource, we can now draw upon a whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics facility to support research on bacterial pathogens worldwide.
Characterisation of pathogens based on these approaches is being applied to disease outbreaks, to identify disease epidemiology transmission networks and to track the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
A better understanding of mechanisms of drug resistance also feeds into resistance-profiling tools and supports the development of new strategies to combat resistance.
Metagenomic profiling is providing new insight into the natural microflora of the human body and how this is altered in disease, increasing susceptibility to infection.
We are studying immune responses at mucosal surfaces, particularly that of lung epithelium. We are interested in the innate immune responses used by epithelial cells to resist viral invasion and bacterial colonisation. These studies offer insight into susceptibility to infection in a range of pathological conditions.
We are pursuing a long-term interest in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) disease associations and are characterising novel innate immune receptors. We are also developing methods to study zoonotic viral infections in their natural hosts.
Our interest in immunity extends to allergic and inflammatory conditions, as well as cancer, in particular understanding the molecular and cellular basis of disease. This is feeding into the design of new drugs for asthma and cancer immunotherapy.
Dr Irina Chis Ster uses a wide range of statistical methodologies applied to clinical and epidemiological data aiming at understanding the impact of harmful or protective exposures on the occurrence of diseases
Dr Claudia Eder has identified microglial ion channels which are considered as potential drug targets in neurological diseases.
Professor Clive Robinson is studying the molecular basis of allergenicity and using this knowledge to design innovative drugs for the treatment of allergic asthma, perennial rhinitis and atopic dermatitis.
Professor Dalgleish is a specialist in identifying the properties of existing treatments and repurposing them for new clinical applications.
The work of Dr Henry Staines on transporters is providing new insight into the biology of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and identifying possible new targets for drug development.
Dr Kai Hilpert is developing antimicrobial peptides into drugs against multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Professor Steve Goodbourn has identified strategies used by viruses to counteract interferons, a critical first line of defence against viral infection.
Dr Tihana Bicanic and colleagues have identified key pathogen and host factors affecting the outcome of cryptococcal fungal infections.
Dr Yanmin Hu’s group has developedin vitro tuberculosis persistent models and modified the traditional mouse tuberculosis model to assess the therapeutic potential of novel TB drug regimens.
Professor Julian Ma, Dr. Pascal Drake and Dr. Audrey Teh are developing novel biologic solutions in plants to combat global infectious diseases and cancer.
All the cells in the body are in a state of dynamic flux – new cells replace old cells all the time; nowhere is this more important than in regulation of the immune system.
Dr Rachel Allen's work on the molecular and cellular basis of immune system function is providing insight into multiple conditions, including HIV Infection.
Professor Deborah Baines has developed an exciting new approach to the prevention and treatment of lung infections, by targeting glucose balance in the lungs.
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