Originally a Biochemist my PhD took me into the area of Immunology looking at interleukin 4 signalling in B cells. Following this I continued in the area of Immunology as part of a programme to develop a therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine against papilloma virus in the treatment of cervical cancer. To gain an understanding of the underlying immunology the B and T cell response to the viruswas explored in the presence and absence of potential vaccines. Recent work involves investigating the role of B cells in Rheumatoid arthritis. Additional areas of research include studying the role of Aldo-keto reductase (AKR) enzymes and their roles in detoxication and metabolism in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde.
Area of academic expertise - outline
Expertise in cellular immunology, cell culture, cell cytotoxicity, vaccine development, molecular biology techniques, enzymes and metabolism.
Current research activities
I have a longstanding interest in the specialised cells of the adaptive immune system, and current research interests are directed to understanding the immunomodulatory role of proteinase activated receptor-2 (PAR2) in B cells in health and disease. B cells play a key role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only in the production of autoantibodies but also in activating other immune cells through direct interaction and the secretion of cytokines. The recent success of B cell targeted therapies in the treatment of RA has reinforced the role of B cells in the disease. PAR2 is a receptor expressed on a wide variety of immune cells and using various strategies it has been shown to play a pro-inflammatory role in RA. Exploring the role of PAR2 in B cell biology may help in the understanding of a complex disease.
Desired research direction
Continue and expand research into the understanding of disease mechanisms and the immune response.
Target collaborative companies
I have worked with Vascutek, Bioreliance and GSK to deliver short courses and would like to extend this to research.