Laboratory of Immune cell Visualisation and Examination
The decisions that immune cells make can be life or death – for the immune cell and for the host. Deciding to respond can protect the host from infectious disease. Or it can lead to a damaging response to self-tissues as in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The Laboratory of Immune cell Visualisation and Examination (LIVE) want to know how immune cells make these crucial decisions and how we can manipulate them to improve health.
Our research is focussed on two types of diseases: inflammatory autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis) and infectious diseases (malaria and influenza virus). In both cases we want to know why the immune responses does what it does and how we can manipulate this response to improve health.
Whether we are studying the immune response in a chronically inflamed tissue or during an infection, we want to identify the cellular and molecular interactions that underlie these protective and pathological outcomes. We believe that understanding the mechanisms that regulate these processes will promote the rational and targeted application of existing therapies and reveal novel therapeutic targets.
To achieve this, we use a range of advanced in vitro and in vivo methodologies. The immune system is a complex and dynamic system of cells and tissues influenced by each other and the surrounding environment. It is, therefore, essential to study immune cell interactions and decision making processes in a physiological environment.
An example LIVE workflow with a focus on imaging-based screening:
One way we do this is using multiphoton laser scanning microscopy. This advanced technique helps us visualise and quantify dynamic immune cell behaviour in the intact living organism. We have successfully used MPLSM to visualise cellular responses in secondary lymphoid and peripheral tissues in the contexts of vaccination, infection and autoimmunity.
Other techniques used in the laboratory include:
- Multi-parameter flow cytometry: used to track and interrogate immune responses following infection, vaccination, and in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
- In vivo imaging: used to image bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters in vivo in combination with x-ray.
- InCell: used to image and quantify cellular interactions in a medium to high throughput manner in vitro.
LIVE consists of four Principal Investigators: Prof Paul Garside, Prof James Brewer, Dr Pasquale Maffia and Dr Megan MacLeod; and a research fellow, Dr Vicky Morrison, together with their research staff and students.
- Dr Hannah Scales – PDRA with Profs James Brewer & Paul Garside. "Manipulating the interaction between antigen presenting cells and T lymphocytes for therapeutic benefit in rheumatic diseases."
- Dr Gavin Meehan – PDRA with Profs James Brewer & Paul Garside. "Development of an in vivo model to visualise Plasmodium falciparum cytoadherence."
- Dr Larissa Camargo da Rosa - PDRA with Profs Paul Garside & James Brewer. “Analysis of the impact of Abatacept on the interactions, functions and transcriptional profile of T cells and APCs in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo and the longevity and transferability of these effects.”
- Dr Neil MacRitchie – PDRA with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Defining the individual and integrated roles of inflammatory chemokine receptors (iCCRs) in atherosclerosis."
- Dr Danila Gurgone - PDRA with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Exploring the relationship between allergic pulmonary inflammation and cardiovascular disease"
- Dr Elisabetta Caiazzo - PDRA with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Does malaria cause hypertension?"
- Dr Julie Worrell - PDRA with Dr Megan MacLeod. "Communication between immune and stromal cells is key to immunological memory within pathogen infected tissues”
- Dr Kerrie Hargrave - PDRA with Dr Megan MacLeod. "Communication between immune and stromal cells is key to immunological memory within pathogen infected tissues”
- Tom Purnell - Technician with Dr Megan MacLeod. Technician Champion in the Universities Technicians Commitment.
- Marija Bedaj – PhD student with Prof Paul Garside & Dr Robert Benson. "Investigating the impact of JAK inhibitors on CD4+ T cell-DC interactions."
- Caio Santos Bonilha – PhD student with Profs Paul Garside & James Brewer. "Identifying novel molecules controlling T cell - dendritic cell interactions."
- Jennifer Dahlstrom – PhD student with Profs James Brewer & Paul Garside. "Where, when and what do tolerogenic dendritic cells do to T cells?"
- Rowland Osii - PhD student with Profs James Brewer & Paul Garside. "Effect of Malaria Parasite on Dendritic cells and T Cell Interaction."
- Elizabeth Chimbayo - PhD student with Profs James Brewer & Paul Garside. "Diversity and dynamics of T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire in the lung in HIV infected Malawian adults with pulmonary tuberculosis."
- Lucy McShane – PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "The role of TAM Receptor Immune-regulatory pathway in the development of atherosclerosis."
- Abdullatif Mohammed Bin Khunayn – PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Immune Mechanisms in Cardiovascular Diseases."
- Asma Rezig - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Defining inflammatory biomarkers in heart failure."
- Mohsen Shoaran - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Single-cell RNA sequencing for assessing individual roles of inflammatory chemokine receptors (iCCRs) in atherosclerosis."
- Eva Crespo - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Understanding and targeting immuno-biology of hypertension and vascular remodelling."
- Blessy Saju - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Role of IL-33 in the immunopathogenesis of hypertension."
- Malvika Sharma - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Immune mechanisms of hypertension"Eleni Charla - PhD student with Dr Pasquale Maffia. "Extracellular vesicle signalling in the development of atherosclerosis.”
- Lotus Westerhof - PhD student with Dr Megan MacLeod. "Characterisation of cytokine producing memory T cells and identification of the signals that support their development."
- George Finney - PhD student with Dr Megan MacLeod. "IFN-gamma as a regulator of long-term stromal cell and T cell communication post-influenza A virus infection."