Fairfax Group: Genomics of Inflammation and Cancer Immunology
We started at the WIMM in July 2017
Using genetic and epigenetic data to understand basic mechanisms of inflammation.
We are interested in the genetic and epigenetic determinants of inter-individual variation in immune responses. Our current projects are as detailed below:
Genetic and epigenetic determinants of immunity
The functional properties of a genetic polymorphism depend upon the cell type analysed and the state that the cell is in. Thus to understand the genetics of gene expression in immune cells we need to explore specific populations of cells in defined environmental contexts. We are using bulk and single cell RNA sequencing to explore the interplay between divergent immune stimuli and genetic variation across multiple cell types.
inflammation and methylation
We are exploring the effect of immune stimuli on DNA methylation in human primary immune cells with reference to underlying genetic variation.
genomics guided cancer treatment
We are using sequencing data from circulating plasma DNA, cell subset transcriptomics and germline genetics in samples from patients with metastatic melanoma who are undergoing treatment with checkpoint inhibitor therapy to identify peripheral predictors of clinical benefits and adverse responses.
We work with Hélène, who is based at the MRC Biostatistics Group with Professor Sylvia Richardson in Cambridge, to further insights into trans regulatory master gene expression networks.
We are collaborating with members of Paul's team to explore MAIT cell function in health and disease, with a particular emphasis on cancer immunotherapy.
We are collaborating with Anna & Dr Joe Sacco in Liverpool to understand the impact of toxicity to Immune Checkpoint Blockade on long-term cancer outcomes.
We have worked with Hussein & Professor Paul Bowness to explore the role of context specific regulatory polymorphisms at IL7R in autoimmune diseases.
Julian is a long-term collaborator with the group - we share interests in understanding the genetic and epigenetic determinants of gene expression in the immune system.
The Fairfax Group is funded by a Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Fellowship to Benjamin Fairfax as well as Wellcome Funding to Dr Robert Watson
Sara Danielli - Former research assistant now undertaking a DPhil with Jelena Mirkovic at the Kennedy
Joe Morris - Joe did his Final Honours research project looking at CMV in plasma using droplet PCR
Harriet Taylor - Harriet did her Final Honour research project with Chelsea in our group, studying MAIT cell function in cancer.
Gigi Lam - Gigi was an exchange student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical School who worked in the lab over summer 2018.