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Research interests

Developing antigen-specific immunotherapy for the treatment of autoimmune disease

Antigen-specific immunotherapy specifically targets the cells of the immune system causing autoimmune disease, preventing these cells from attacking the body's own tissues without compromising normal immune function. In the case of multiple sclerosis, CD4+ T cells mistakenly respond to peptide antigens which are components of the myelin sheath. Antigen-specific immunotherapy involves exposing the immune system to these target peptides in a carefully controlled way, which re-educates pathogenic CD4+ T cells; a process known as therapeutic tolerance induction. Autoimmunity is prevented by causing a switch in self-reactive cells to an anti-inflammatory, IL-10-secreting regulatory cell type. I am interested in strategies to improve development of this approach for the treatment of autoimmunity, including:

  • Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying successful tolerance induction
  • Optimising dosing strategies to improve immunotherapy
  • Adjunct therapies to boost antigen-specific tolerance induction
  • Identification of biomarkers of tolerance induction
  • Differential regulation of effector T cell subsets by regulatory T cell populations


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