Early Career Researcher
I graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Medical Microbiology in 1999. I then studied for an MSc and PhD in Immunology working under the supervision of Professor Chris Buckley studying the mechanisms behind lymphocyte retention in the rheumatoid synovium (2005). During my PhD, I became interested in the resolution of inflammation in particular why chronic inflammatory diseases fail to resolve. In 2005 moved to Harvard Medical School, Boston working under the mentorship of Dr Bruce Levy and Professor Charles Serhan, examining mechanisms of resolution of lung inflammation, focusing on asthma and the use of anti-inflammatory lipid mediators derived from omega-3 fatty acids as a potential new therapy to treat chronic airway inflammation. In 2011, I moved to the University of California, Berkeley working with Professor David Raulet, studying the role of innate lymphocytes such as NK cells and γδ T cells in models of asthma. In 2013, I moved back to the UK to start a position as a Early Young Career Researcher at the William Harvey Research Institute
Summary of Research
I am interested in understanding the role of innate lymphocytes in promoting the resolution of inflammation. Innate lymphocytes are a diverse group of lymphocytes that are commonly found at mucosal sites such as the skin, gut, lung and uro-genital reproductive tract. They include Natural Killer (NK) cells, gamma-delta (γδ) T cells and innate lymphocyte cells (ILCs). Innate lymphocytes are potent producers of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-17, IL-22 and IFN-γ. Despite their role in initiating inflammatory responses they have also been shown to play a role in wound healing and resolution of inflammation. Research in my lab will use mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to study how these cells can promote resolution of inflammation and also the effect of counter-regulatory signals such as lipoxin A4 and annexin A1 to shift the phenotype of these cells from a pro-inflammatory state to a pro-resolution state. By promoting resolution of chronic inflammation within the gut, it will lead not only treatments against IBD, but also colo-rectal associated cancer (CRC) which is often associated with chronic inflammation.