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Dr Deborah Chong

Lecturer in Infection and Immunity
An immunologist with an interest in fibrosis

Dr Deborah Chong joined St. George’s, University of London in 2020 as a Lecturer in the Institute for Infection and Immunity. She obtained her PhD from Imperial College London and has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at both the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Imperial College London and the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair, UCL.


Deborah is passionate about how the immune system can influence fibrosis and aberrant wound healing processes. Her current research focuses on the role of neutrophils and neutrophil-derived mediators in driving pulmonary fibrosis, with a particular interest in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.

Professional History

  • May 2020 – present: Lecturer in Infection and Immunity, St George’s, University of London.
  • November 2019 – April 2020: UCL/MRC-funded Research Associate, Prof Joanna Porter, UCL. Assessing a novel therapeutic target in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • August 2017 – November 2019: BRC-funded Research Associate, Prof Joanna Porter, UCL. Assessing neutrophil activation as a biomarker and therapeutic target in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • July 2013 – August 2017: MRC-funded Research Associate, Prof Joanna Porter, UCL. The role of platelets in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • October 2010 – July 2013: BBSRC-funded Research Associate, Dr Rosemary Boyton, Imperial College London. Developing new models to study immune responses during pulmonary bacterial infection.
  • October 2007 – September 2010: MRC-funded PhD studentship, Prof Daniel Altmann & Prof Shiranee Sriskandan, Imperial College London. The role of regulatory T cells during bacterial sepsis.

Dr Deborah Chong’s research focuses on how immune responses as a consequence of inflammation or infection can drive pulmonary fibrosis. She has a keen interest in understanding how neutrophils and neutrophil-derived mediators such as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and Leucine-rich alpha-2 glycoprotein-1 (LRG-1) can mediate pro-fibrotic responses through a combination of in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo studies. The main aims of her research are to better define the mechanistic interactions between neutrophils and fibroblasts and identify novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers that can be taken forward into the clinic.

Chong DLW, Rebeyrol C, José RJ, Williams AE, Brown JS, Scotton CJ, Porter JC. ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 are differentially expressed and up-regulated in inflamed pulmonary epithelium, but neither ICAM-2 nor LFA-1:ICAM-1 are required for neutrophil migration into the airways in vivo. Front Immunol. 2021. 12:691957.

Kirwan DE, Chong DLW, Friedland JS. Platelet activation and the immune response to Tuberculosis. Front Immunol. 2021. 12:631696.

Chong DLW, Trinder S, Labelle M, Rodriguez-Justo M, Hughes S, Holmes AM, Scotton CJ, Porter JC. Platelet-derived Transforming Growth Factor-b1 promotes keratinocyte proliferation in cutaneous wound healing. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2020. 14(4):645-649.

Reynolds CR, Chong DLW, Li Y, Lucas Black S, Cutler A, Webster Z, Manji J, Altmann DM, Boyton RJ. Bioluminescent Reporting of In Vivo IFN-γ Immune Responses during Infection and Autoimmunity. J Immunol. 2019. 202(8):2502-2510.

Brilha S, Chong D, Khawaja A, Ong CWM, Guppy NJ, Porter JC, Friedland JS. Integrin a2b1 expression regulates matrix metalloproteinase-1 dependent bronchial epithelial repair in pulmonary tuberculosis. Front Immunol. 2018. 9:1348

Reynolds C, Chong D, Raynsford E, Quigley K, Kelly D, Llewellyn-Hughes J, Altmann D, Boyton R. Elongated TCR alpha chain CDR3 favours an altered CD4 cytokine profile. BMC Biol. 2014. 2:32.

Lowther DE, Chong DL, Ascough S, Ettorre A, Ingram RJ, Boyton RJ, Altmann DM. Th1 not Th17 cells drive spontaneous MS‐like disease despite a functional regulatory T cell response. Acta Neuropathol. 2013. 126(4):501-15.

Turner CE, Sommerlad M, McGregor K, Davies FJ, Pichon B, Chong DL, Farzaneh L, Holden MT, Spratt BG, Efstratiou A, Sriskandan S. Superantigenic activity of emm3 Streptococcus pyogenes is abrogated by a conserved, naturally occurring smeZ mutation. PLOS One. 2012. 7(10):e46376.

Chong DL, Ingram RJ, Lowther DE, Muir R, Sriskandan S, Altmann DM. The nature of innate and adaptive IL-17A responses in sham or bacterial inoculation. Immunology. 2012. 136(3):325-33.

Chong DLW & Sriskandan S. Pro-inflammatory mechanisms in sepsis. Contribut Microbiol. 2011. 17:86-107.


Prof Jonathan Friedland (SGUL)

Prof Joanna Porter (UCL)

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