The Clinical Immunology Group, led by Dr Smita Patel is focused on research in primary immune deficiencies.
The Clinical Immunology Group, led by Dr Smita Patel is focused on research in primary immune deficiencies. The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (http://oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk/) was established in 2007 for particular translational themes of which "Immunity" is one. The recognition that Clinical Immunology plays an important part in translational research in immunological diseases, as well as providing unrivalled postgraduate medical and scientific opportunities for academic training, makes Clinical Immunology a strong base for funding applications.
The NIHR expansion of training programmes for medical graduates in Immunology includes a Clinical Lectureship and an Academic Clinical Fellowship. The MSc in Integrated Immunology provides additional teaching opportunities as well as candidates for D.Phil. positions. Dr Patel is the Immunology course tutor for medical students. She is also the training programme director and academic lead for clinical immunology speciality training within Oxford.
Primary immune deficiencies (PIDs) are a long-standing focus of the department. Clinical and laboratory research is undertaken to search for disease-causing genes as well as determining the clinical relevance of immunophenotyping in PID. Research maintains a strong translational theme and brings together leading clinical immunologists and basic scientists to explore the immune basis of disease. The group's particular area of interest is the use of next generation sequencing technologies on an individual case-by-case basis for the investigation of patient with undefined PIDs, and also to understand the immunogenetics and pathogenesis of PIDs in well-defined patient cohorts, in particular Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disorders. This is followed up with detailed functional investigation in the BRC research laboratory. Findings are translated into informed clinical care of patients, as well as high impact publications to appraise the scientific and clinical communities of our discoveries in the field of immune deficiencies. Patient studies have been undertaken in collaboration with other groups nationally and internationally, including France, Italy, Netherlands, and USA.
The Group has been awarded three awards as a centre of excellence:
- UK Primary Immunodeficiency Association Centre of Excellence award
- FOCIS International Centre of Excellence
- Jeffrey Modell Foundation Centre of Excellence