Advances in Immunology, DPhil Module

This event is open to all at the University.

This seminar is part of the DPhil Teaching Modules at NDORMS and is open to all staff and students.

0930-1000 Prof Sir Marc Feldmann

“Can We Get Closer to a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis?”
We have lived through amazing times in rheumatology, with progress in drug discovery based on intuition to discovery driven by advances in understanding of the molecular basis of disease pathogenesis and application of technology. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was an incurable, painful, life-damaging, and life-shortening disease. Breakthroughs in cellular immunology, the molecular biology “revolution” and the discovery of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies were pivotal in the generation of biologic agents which entered the clinic from the late 90s, with anti–tumor necrosis factors (anti-TNFs) in the first wave. RA patients, especially those whose disease is at the severe end of the spectrum, can now expect significant restoration of their quality of life. However, few achieve complete remission, and this talk will focus whether a drug-free state can become a reality for RA patients.

1000-1030 Dr. Steve Sansom

“Single-cell genomics: revolutionary new technologies for understanding immune system function in health and disease”
The full complexity of immune system cell types and functional states cannot be observed by population-level assays guided by existing knowledge. Recent breakthroughs in single-cell transcriptomics are now allowing the first unbiased assessments of immune cell identity and function, revealing remarkable heterogeneity. Such approaches are expected to be critical for the identification of rare pathogenic immune cell subsets in inflammatory disease, and hence for the targeting of selective therapeutics. This talk will provide an overview of single-cell genomics methods and data analysis techniques with examples of their application to the immune system.

1030-1100 Dr. Thibault Griseri

“Regulation of haematopoiesis in chronic inflammatory diseases”
In chronic inflammatory diseases, neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes/macrophages accumulate in target organs, which causes progressive tissue damage. Peripheral numbers of these short-lived myeloid cells are highly dependent on the bone marrow output, however little is know about the regulation of haematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells during chronic inflammation. Importantly, recent studies in anti-microbial immunity showed that these cells are more reactive to environmental cues than previously anticipated, e.g. to TLR stimuli and interferons. We will discuss the regulation of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors in the context of various models of inflammatory diseases, e.g. inflammatory arthritis, colitis and atherosclerosis and will discuss how these cells might be able to influence the severity and chronicity of disease.