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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.

1. How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? 

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. 

2. What are you currently working on and what importance does your work hold for current patients with gastrointestinal issues? 

My work focuses on the correlations of specific molecules known as HLA molecules with a whole host of autoimmune disorders. These molecules, of which there are many thousands of variants in the human population, present antigen to immune cells for downstream T-cell and B-cell activity. In the context of autoimmunity, I query whether the antigens they present (or fail to present) in any way contribute to the occurrence, exacerbation, or progression of active disease. 

3. What do you enjoy most about scientific research? 

I honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love the puzzles that research asks us to solve, and getting to the core of how mechanisms work and why things happen is really rewarding. 

4. What’s the best part of being an Oxford University TGU member? 

The TGU is great community to be part of, as I have access to cutting edge technology, engaging colleagues, and a tremendous biobank of sample resource that allows me to include clinical translational in my mechanistic work.