Featured TGU Researcher
"II really enjoy the fact that even though it might seem small and very ‘behind-the-scenes’, my work can be used to make a difference in someone’s life"
I am fascinated by epigenetics and the role the environment plays on the development of disease.
I’m actually mostly interested in autoimmunity more broadly, so my specific interest in gastroenterology centres around Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, with a tangential interest in coeliac disease. I’m quite committed to the path of basic science and mechanistic elucidation, so the translational aspect of my work is largely a bonus.
Although my training as a Biochemist covered a broad spectrum of research areas, I was always most interested in understanding disease pathogenesis from a molecular point of view.
Dr Oliver Brain is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Nuffield Health The Manor Hospital, Oxford and at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. He has extensive experience in general gastroenterology and endoscopy, including diagnostic colonoscopy and therapeutic endoscopy. He has a research interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
I have been fascinated by science ad the natural world for as long as I can remember.
How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? I became interested in translational gastroenterology unexpectedly through my prior work on vaccine immunology, which is the subject area I studied during my PhD.
How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? In all honesty, I had not considered translational gastroenterology as a career path until I came across the advertisement for my current role as Bio-banker.
How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? I come from a molecular biology background and at the beginning, I felt a bit disoriented in this new field. However, it was not long until I became fascinated by gut immunology.
How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? To study and discover the cellular and molecular networks of the human immune system and to understand key biologic processes that maintain the balance between the host response and the environment is simply fascinating.
How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? I think the immune system at the mucosal interface is the most fascinating part of the body; not only does it have to prevent pathogen invasion, at the same time it also has to establish tolerance to environmental antigens and the balance is a delicate one to maintain.
How did you get interested to work in Fiona Powrie´s lab? I did my PhD in Vienna, where I worked on human rhinovirus, the virus responsible for colds, and how this virus evades a productive immune response.
How did you get interested in your scientific work? Born and raised in San Francisco, I studied Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis. A wonderful aspect of the Bay Area is the abundance of excellent research groups; during summer breaks I worked on research projects at UC Davis, UCSF, AstraZeneca and MedImmune.
How did you get interested in your scientific work? During my undergraduate degree I worked on a research project about why the immune system is less efficient in old age, and from this I became interested in a molecule called interleukin-7.
How did you get interested in your scientific work? My background is in virus engineering and cancer. I became interested in immunotherapy for treating solid tumours and realised that in order to develop efficacious therapies, I must first gain an understanding of how the immune system becomes dysfunctional in disease settings, such as chronic inflammation and cancer.
How did you get interested in your scientific work? I did my PhD in Biochemistry working on the genetic engineering of a probiotic E. coli strain. While performing experiments we observed that administration of probiotic E. coli to rats resulted in substantial anti-inflammatory effects.
I obtained a Medical Biotechnology degree (2005) followed by a Masters degree in Pharmaceutical and Medical Biotechnology (2008) at the University of L’Aquila (Italy).
How did you get interested in your scientific work? Although I did not experiment in my own little laboratory in the garage, biology was already one of my favourite subjects at school leading eventually to my decision to study chemistry and biochemistry.
How did you get interested in your scientific work? I have always been interested in understanding how things work and why they work that way. During my undergraduate studies, I discovered basic immunology and I just got caught in it.
How did you become interested in the Gastroenterology field, especially in the research part of translational gastroenterology? Although I originally wanted to be a physician, I wanted a procedural physician speciality, such as gastroenterology or cardiology, so the practical nature drew me in. But the fact that gastroenterology is such a diverse speciality was the big pull.