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Research interests

Lay Summary of Research:

Our work involves understanding how immune cells that live in the eye (called microglia) – the “guardian sentinels” that watch and survey for danger there – change their behaviour during models of uveitis (a group of autoimmune/autoinflammatory diseases of the eye that are the commonest cause of blindness in the working-age population). We characterise the microglial behaviour primarily by performing a technique called RNA-Sequencing.

The immune system needs to discriminate between foreign cells (e.g. bacteria that could cause an infection) and host cells (e.g. retinal cells that allow you to see) so that it attacks the correct targets; aberrant targeting of host cells is termed autoimmune or autoinflammatory disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis, asthma).

By using models that simulate uveitis, we hope to characterise how the microglia change in these models – the hope is this will ultimately allow us to find new “druggable” targets that will lead to better* treatments in the future.

*Better treatments could include those which reduced side effects, and/or those which treat patients with a better success rate.

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