Thursday, 23 March 2017

Dr Roxanne Tussiwand - 6th April

Should be interesting...




PI Seminar Series


Speaker:              Dr Roxanne Tussiwand, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel

Venue:                 Dental Lecture Theatre F

Date:                     Thursday 6th April 2017

Time:                    TBC



Dr Roxanne Tussiwand will present:


"Dendritic Cells: from Development to Function"



Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical regulators of the immune system bridging innate with adaptive immunity and maintaining tolerance. DCs constantly patrol tissues while collecting antigens. During an infection or following sterile inflammation DCs are able to orchestrate the immune response through the secretion of the appropriate cytokines and the initiation of the adaptive immune response. The complexity of the different immune responses argues for subset specialization within the DC compartment. Understanding the functional identity of the different DC subsets is instrumental to understand how our immune system works.

DC can be subdivided into 4 major branches: conventional dendritic cells type 1 (cDC1) and Type 2 (cDC2), plasmacytoid DC (pDCs) and monocyte derived DCs (moDC). Each DC lineage requires a specific transcriptional network for its development and its function. My research has mostly focused on defining the IRF8-IRF4 transcriptional modules required for cDC1 and cDC2 development. The study of the transcriptional regulation of the different DC subsets in the context of infections enables us to define the molecular clues required to trigger the appropriate immune response. We could show how the IRF8 transcriptional module is required during CTL and Th1 immune responses, while the IRF4 transcriptional module is necessary for the induction of Th2 immunity.

Collectively, understanding the pathways inducing tolerance and protective immunity against pathogens and tumors will be instrumental for the discovery of novel targets aimed at modulating immune responses in chronic inflammation as well as design targets for immune-based therapies.



Chair: Professor Muzz Haniffa



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

ICM Research Seminar - Tomorrow - RA Pathogenesis

Go Alex!



 ICM Research Seminar
Wednesday 22nd March 2017



Alex Clark

(Dr A. Pratt, Dr L. Reynard, Prof J. Isaacs)

Characterising CD4+ T cell mediated mechanisms of genetic risk in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune condition with a complex aetiology.
Despite the identification of over 100 risk loci associated with susceptibility to RA, the mechanisms through which these variants contribute to pathogenesis remain poorly characterised. CD4+ T cells are strongly implicated in RA disease processes, and the aim of this study is to identify how genetic and epigenetic variation can impact expression of genes in this relevant cell type. To this end, we use techniques including array-based profiling of genome-wide DNA methylation, together with the integration of genotype and transcriptome data, to understand CD4+ T cell immune dysregulation during early arthritis.

Sarah Thompson

(Prof S. Ali, Prof J. Kirby, Prof N. Sheerin)

Post-translational modification of Chemokines during heart transplantation: Implications for their biological function

Post-translational modifications of chemokines occur as a result of ischaemia-reperfusion injury during transplantation, and nitration in particular has been shown to affect chemokine activity (through alterations in receptor-binding and GAG-binding), as well as detectability. The functionality of nitrated chemokines must be better understood in order to maximise their potential as potential therapeutics or biomarkers.

Ally Leitch

(Prof M. Wright)

An Ionic Liquid activates estrogen receptors
An ionic liquid has been discovered to be present in an active landfill site and found to have toxic effects. We have shown that this chemical also acts as a xenoestrogen and activates the estrogen receptors.

Chair: Dr Nicola Maney

Dental Lecture Theatre F, Medical School


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Heather Foggo

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Heather Foggo at the weekend.

Many of you will remember Heather from her time at MRG where she worked as a research nurse at the Freeman Hospital. Heather supported numerous clinical trials and was instrumental in collecting patient samples for much of our laboratory work including the UK Primary Sjogren's Registry and Newcastle Bone & Joint Study.  Those of us who knew her will remember her enthusiasm and infectious sense of humour.  Our thoughts are with her family.

 - Prof John Isaacs

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Big Data Bioinformatics - Monday 13th March




PI Seminar Series



Speaker:              Prof. Anil Wipat, Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems Group (ICOS), School of Computing Science.

Venue:            Baddiley Clark Seminar Room

Date:               Monday 13th March 2017

Time:               13.00-14.00



Professor Anil Wipat will present:


'Pulling it all together: Integrating biological data and bioinformatics

tools for biodata mining"




Biological datasets are increasing in size and complexity. Making sense of these data is challenging and requires approaches to clean up the data, integrate data together and innovative approaches to mining these integrated data. Often, it is also necessary to join up biological tools into workflows to carry out a common tasks that operate over multiple datasets. Our group researches novel approaches to all of these tasks, to provide tools that are able to cope with large, complex and heterogeneous data. In this talk I will outline some of these approaches and demonstrate how they are being applied to mining for drug repurposing opportunities and to the discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers for the development of diagnostics for infectious disease.

Chair: Professor Muzz Haniffa