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Nima Gharahdaghi

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Nima completed Ph.D. studies at the University of Nottingham (UoN), focusing on the molecular regulation of ageing and sarcopenia. Afterwards, he conducted research on the regulators of lifespan and health span in Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. Concurrently, he successfully led and collaborated on projects at the Clinical, Metabolic, and Molecular Physiology laboratory, focusing on interventions to enhance health span, both pre- and post-rehabilitation, in octogenarians with comorbidities, including urological cancer.

After concluding his postdoctoral role at UoN, Nima embarked on an exciting Research Fellow position in the field of immunology within the Experimental Medicine Division at the University of Oxford. His current research, conducted at the Translational Gastroenterology Unit under the guidance of Prof. Holm Uhlig, centers on investigating the roles of various cytokines, such as IL-18, IL-10, and IL-6 receptor subunit (GP130), in intestinal inflammation. The primary objective is to gain a mechanistic understanding of IL-18 production and regulation using various cellular models of monogenic diseases characterized by elevated IL-18 levels. Additionally, he examines how mutations in GP130 influence phenotype and the downstream signaling response of the IL-6 receptor to stimulants. His work also delves into the role of anti-IL-10 autoantibodies as potential contributors to the development of inflammatory bowel disease. These findings hold the promise of identifying specific patient subgroups within the context of inflammatory bowel disease who may benefit from cytokine-targeting therapies.

In the realm of inflammatory bowel disease therapy, the challenge lies in a significant proportion of patients not responding to existing treatments. Furthermore, the mechanisms driving disease progression and the impact of autoinflammatory factors remain incompletely understood. Consequently, his research focuses on mapping the mechanisms and the associated up-regulated and down-regulated pathways that drive intestinal inflammation, with the ultimate aim of identifying novel therapeutic targets. Nima hopes that this body of work will contribute to the ongoing effort to pinpoint patient subgroups that stand to gain the most from more precisely targeted treatments.

In addition to Nima's research pursuits, he actively participates in the University's MSc in Integrated Immunology program as a lecturer and member of the course committee. His honorary contract with NHS Oxford University Hospital further underscores his commitment to bridging academic research with clinical practice. Additionally, he is a proactive member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) GeneLab Analysis Working Groups (Animal and Multi-omics). Furthermore, to avoid being solely immersed in the scientific world, he takes on the role of coaching the first men's football team (Blues) at the University of Oxford, demonstrating his dedication to both the university's academic and athletic communities.