Discovery and analysis of autoimmune regulators

Discovery and analysis of autoimmune regulators

Project details

Type I interferons (IFN) have complex roles in infection and autoimmunity. A feature of lupus is increased expression of type I IFN–regulated genes. A key IFN-induced gene is the chemokine CXCL10. We have developed a CXCL10-reporter CRISPR screen in dendritic cells to identify genes that amplify the IFN-signature. The function of candidate genes will be analysed during infection and models of autoimmune disease. Identifying proteins that interrupt the IFN-pathway will reveal new avenues for the prevention and control of infectious and autoimmune disease.

Techniques to be used:

  • Dendritic cell cultures and in vitro infection
  • CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
  • Flow cytometry-based screens
  • Analysis of human samples to focus candidate genes
  • Advanced imaging and bioinformatic analysis
  • Induction and assessment of viral infection and autoimmune models.

About our research group

Our immune system consists of specialised cells that collaborate to defeat invading pathogens. The integration of migration signals helps balance protective and detrimental fates, leading to protection from infection or promotion of autoimmune disease. How cells navigate these interactions is a dilemma of critical importance to human health globally.

Our lab studies how cell migration and interactions allow our immune system to function efficiently and how this is altered in autoimmune disease. We use a multi-disciplinary approach combining infectious and autoimmune models, advanced imaging, bioinformatic analysis, and molecular screening to dissect the migration networks that control cell fate and function. These cutting-edge approaches allow us to identify new targets for the strategic design of vaccines and therapies for infectious and inflammatory disease.



Dr Joanna Groom

Dr Joanna Groom outside a lab
Laboratory Head

Dr Shalin Naik

Dr Shalin Naik in the laboratory
Laboratory Head

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