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April 2021

Unlocking immune-mediated disease mechanisms with transcriptomics

The transcriptome represents the entire set of RNA transcripts expressed in a cell, reflecting both the underlying genetic and epigenetic landscape and environmental influences, providing a comprehensive view of functional cellular states at any given time. Recent technological advances now enable the study of the transcriptome at the resolution of individual cells, providing exciting opportunities to characterise cellular and molecular events that underpin immune-medicated diseases.

Published research Systems Immunology
January 2021

Fine-Tuning the Tumour Microenvironment: Current Perspectives on the Mechanisms of Tumour Immunosuppression

Immunotherapy has revolutionised the treatment of cancers by harnessing the power of the immune system to eradicate malignant tissue. However, it is well recognised that some cancers are highly resistant to these therapies, which is in part attributed to the immunosuppressive landscape of the tumour microenvironment (TME). The contexture of the TME is highly heterogeneous and contains a complex architecture of immune, stromal, vascular and tumour cells in addition to acellular components such as the extracellular matrix. While understanding the dynamics of the TME has been instrumental in predicting durable responses to immunotherapy and developing new treatment strategies, recent evidence challenges the fundamental paradigms of how tumours can effectively subvert immunosurveillance. Here, we discuss the various immunosuppressive features of the TME and how fine-tuning these mechanisms, rather than ablating them completely, may result in a more comprehensive and balanced anti-tumour response.

Children's Cancers Published research Systems Immunology Subsite: Cancer
December 2020

Transplacental Innate Immune Training via Maternal Microbial Exposure: Role of XBP1-ERN1 Axis in Dendritic Cell Precursor Programming

We recently reported that offspring of mice treated during pregnancy with the microbial-derived immunomodulator OM-85 manifest striking resistance to allergic airways inflammation, and localized the potential treatment target to fetal conventional dendritic cell (cDC) progenitors. Here, we profile maternal OM-85 treatment-associated transcriptomic signatures in fetal bone marrow, and identify a series of immunometabolic pathways which provide essential metabolites for accelerated myelopoiesis.

Published research Experimental Immunology Human Immunology Systems Immunology
September 2020

Decoding Susceptibility to Respiratory Viral Infections and Asthma Inception in Children

Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Rhinovirus are the most frequent cause of respiratory tract infections in infants and children and are major triggers of acute viral bronchiolitis, wheezing and asthma exacerbations.

Asthma Published research Early Childhood Development Systems Immunology Youth Health