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Research funding

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Collaborators

Bo Sun

MBBS DPhil MRCP


NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Neurology

  • Honorary Neurology Specialty Registrar
  • Neurology Registrar Coordinator for Thames Valley Deanery

Research Summary

I am an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Neurology, and my research interests are focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system and brain cancer. Specifically, I am interested in studying the role of the adaptive immune system and how immune tolerance to self can be modelled using the dichotomous nature of autoimmunity versus cancer.

The adaptive immune system is responsible for recognising and eliminating foreign pathogens while maintaining self-tolerance to prevent autoimmunity. However, in some cases, the immune system fails to recognise self-antigens, leading to autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, cancer cells can evade immune surveillance by developing mechanisms to avoid detection by the immune system. Therefore, by studying the interplay between the immune system, autoimmune diseases, and cancer, we can gain insights into the mechanisms that lead to these diseases.

To address these questions, I am using a variety of techniques such as whole genome sequencing, adaptive immune receptor repertoire sequencing, single-cell/bulk RNA sequencing, and in vitro cellular models. By analysing large multimodal datasets, I hope to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention and develop approaches for early cancer detection with the aim towards better personalised treatment strategies for patients.

Biography

I have previously undertaken my DPhil across the Oxford Autoimmune Neurology group and the Bashford-Rogers group, where I explored the role of immune tolerance in CASPR2-antibody encephalitis and SARs-CoV-2 infection. My aim is to translate my findings to wider states of Neuro-immunological dysfunction, with a view to identify new targets for immunomodulation and better treatment strategies.

Team

Safiyah Mohamed, MSc in Biomedical Sciences, University of Amsterdam

Safiyah is a visiting Masters student who will be undertaking a meta-analysis of the transcriptomic landscape of the immune micro-environment in adult diffuse gliomas. 

Phoebe Baggott, MSc in Biochemistry, Hertford College, University of Oxford 

Phoebe is co-supervised with Prof Rachael Bashford-Rogers, and will be developing a novel high-throughput Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire (AIRR) sequencing platform.