How did you become interested in translational gastroenterology? My original interest was immunology, in particular innate immune cells called monocytes. During my MSc, I studied their function in the blood of patients with diabetes and obesity.
I was fortunate to win a Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) scholarship to fund my PhD and it was there I first became interested in translational gastroenterology. I investigated monocyte profiles and function in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and how these cells changed after anti-TNF therapy, infliximab. I interacted with the patients during their drug infusions and got to understand how this disease affects their day-to-day life. From this experience, I knew I wanted to stay in this particular research area.
Q: What are you currently working on and what importance does your work hold for current patients with gastrointestinal issues?
I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow in Prof. Keshav’s lab and we are in collaboration with the Experimental Medicine Unit in GlaxoSmithKline. My research is identifying the role of lymphocyte activation gene (LAG)-3 in ulcerative colitis. LAG-3 is upregulated early after T-cell stimulation, and is, therefore, a marker of recently activated T-cells. Targeting these cells for therapeutic depletion might provide a mechanism for selectively eliminating lymphocytes contributing to the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory disease, while sparing the non-activated population that are then available to combat infection. My research focuses on the potential role and viability as a novel drug target of LAG-3 expressing T cells in UC.
Q: What do you enjoy most about scientific research?
Knowing that your research is discovering something (that hopefully), no one else has discovered before. Being part of research that could contribute to a drug therapy or diagnostic assay for certain diseases is very exciting. Overall, scientific research is trying to make a difference in patients’ lives.
Q: What’s the best part of being an Oxford University TGU member?
The access to patient samples is extremely beneficial to me as a scientist. Working with academics and clinicians from such diverse backgrounds is also an amazing part of being a TGU member.
News & Events
- Blenheim Fun Run 2017
- Curiosity Carnival
- International Clinical Trials Day, May 20th 2017
- The TGU welcomes STEM Apprentice Placements this summer!
- Oxford IBD MasterClass 2017
- Oxford IBD Masterclass 2016
- TGU at the Oxfordshire Science Festival
- A word from Prof. Paul Klenerman, the new Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology
- TGU at the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival
- Members of the Powrie group publish in Nature an important new role of IL-33
- NDM Scientists at Royal Society summer exhibition
- TGU at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014
- TGU at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition
- BRC3 Gastro RMF Application form
- Clinician-Scientists in the making visit the TGU from the Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Launch event: Human Iron Research at Oxford (HIRO)
- Detailed map of colon cells in health and disease
- New grant to study the role of immune cells in lung regeneration
- NDM's Translational Gastroenterology Unit awarded a CRUK Primer grant of £100,000
- NDM Researchers elected Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences
- Oxford IBD Masterclass 2020
- Oxfordshire Research League Tables
- Memorial Service - Professor Satish Keshav
- Open Evening Crohn's and Colitis
- Tackling inflammatory bowel disease
- Human Immune Discovery Initiative (HIDI)
- The Good Doctors Guide: Meet the best doctors for gall bladder and learn the cutting-edge treatments for inflammatory bowel disease
- forCrohn's Heroes 2018
- TGU Awards, Grants and Prizes Sep-Oct 2016
- BRC - How Vital Funding Makes a Difference
- Falk Foundation Symposium - 29-30 Mar 2019
- Dietary Fibre Metabolite Helps Immune System Fight Invasive Bacteria
- Professor Satish Keshav
- High Sheriff Award
- FALK Symposium Poster First Prize Winner!
- TGU@10 - 10 Years Celebration Event!
- OUH Quality Improvement Symposium (QIP)
- TGU, University of Oxford Awarded the IBD Stress Test QuickFire Challenge
- Crohn's and Colitis Open Evening on Tuesday 4th February at 17.30-19.30
- OUH NURSE WINS NATIONAL AWARD
- Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis - Public Information Event April 2021
- Oxford IBD MasterClass 2022
- The Changing Face of Inflammatory Bowel Disease- Progress in Research and Clinical Care
- Oxford IBD MasterClass 2024 – Personalising care in IBD
- Please join us for our TGU@14 Symposium on Monday 11th September 2023 at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
- Shortlist Announced for Staff Awards
- NIHR Senior Research Fellows Awards
- Translational Gastroenterology Unit – Logo and Name Update
- TGU Biobank/IBD Cohort
- Training Opportunities
- TGU Podcasts
- Links for TGU Members
- Meet the Team
- Oxford IBD MasterClass 2024