Rhys Allan-Projects

Rhys Allan-Projects


Understanding the epigenetic control of immune cell fate and function

To study the contribution of epigenetic changes to immune processes, such as development and differentiation, we have established model systems that lack individual chromatin-modifying proteins from a number of epigenetic pathways. We combine these with gene expression analysis and DNA-binding sites of these modifiers to generate a more comprehensive understanding of how our immune system is controlled. 

Identification of epigenetic targets for therapy of allergic disease

Atopic diseases such as allergic asthma and food allergy are on the rise in the industrialised world. Understanding the molecular wiring of the immune cells that drive autoimmune and allergic disease will allow in the identification of new treatments.

We use models of asthma and food allergy to explore the epigenetic requirements for T cell-driven allergic disease. We then target these epigenetic pathways with small molecule inhibitors to reverse allergic disease.

Exploring the establishment of chromatin architecture in lymphocytes

Although chromatin is traditionally viewed in a linear sense, recently it has been recognised that the higher order organisation of the chromatin and its position in the interphase nucleus is non-random and extremely relevant to biological function by regulating gene expression, DNA replication and repair, and recombination.

It is clearly important to understand how chromatin architecture is established during lymphocyte development. To do this we are using chromatin conformation capture technologies to understand how the chromatin is organised at the genome-wide level in lymphocytes.