Louise Suleman (MSc by Research, supervised by Dr Karen Wright and Dr Andrew Higham)
I am researching the development of fibrosis in Crohn's disease. Circulating cells called 'fibrocytes', traffic to sites of injury and mediate fibrosis or tissue scarring. I am comparing the numbers of fibrocytes in the blood of Crohn's patients and healthy individuals, and assessing differences in fibrocyte differentiation and migratory capacity.
Luan Koay (PhD, supervised by Dr Karen Wright and Dr Rachael Rigby)
Suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) is a negative regulator of pro-inflammatory cytokine signalling and, as a consequence, has an anti-inflammatory role in IBD. I am testing the hypothesis that the differential relationship between the cytokine, leptin, and cannabinoid signalling pathways is coordinated by SOCS3 and impacts on epithelial restitution and repair during gut inflammation.
Tara MacPherson (PhD, supervised by Dr Karen Wright and Prof John Westwick)
Cells and tissues grown ex vivo are usually in artificial environments, which will influence the behaviour of proteins involved in normal metabolism and inflammatory responses. I am developing a model of intestinal tissue culture that more closely reflects the physiological setting (5% O2) and then testing this model using established inflammatory protocols.