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Immune mechanisms of lung injury, regeneration and fibrosis; identifying new therapeutic targets, and improved treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis. See our Spotlight video -

We study the immune mechanisms of  lung injury, regeneration and fibrosis with an ultimate aim of identifying new therapeutic targets. Our projects are divided into mechanistic and translational studies. Broadly, the programme has two aims – (1) to understand the contribution of immune cells to lung immunopathology, progressive lung fibrosis and aberrant alveolar regeneration and (2) to bring new treatment and improved clinical trials and management to patients with fibrotic lung diseases, focusing on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and fibrotic sarcoidosis. 

We have a focus on immune pathology in the tissue and have developed methods to spatially deconvolute diseased lungs using single cell imaging mass cytometry. An example is the SpOOx pipeline using the MDV visualisation platform, developed in collaboration with Helen Byrne and Josh Bull (Mathematics Institute) and Martin Sergeant and Steve Taylor (WIMM Computational Biology) ( 


Macrophages in IPF lungsMacrophages in IPF lungs

Our work spans from looking at the molecular pathways in immune cells to murine models of injury and repair, and highly translational patient studies. For example, researchers in the group are also developing non-invasive methods to measure inflammation in the alveolar linings and use human blood samples to identify immune cells that predict those with lung fibrosis that are more likely to deteriorate. 


Group Members

 Ling-Pei Ho, Vishal Nathwani, Harry Tian Hu, Sabrina Zulkifar, Chaitanya Vuppusetty, Jeongmin Woo and Praveen Weeratunga 


DPhil available

Elucidating the role of  tissue-resident immune cells in alveolar epithelial regeneration and lung fibrosis

Potential applicants with at least a 2:1 in their first degree, are invited to email Prof Ho to discuss this project. 

The lung is a distinct organ in terms of regeneration and self-renewal. In the steady-state, cell turnover is low, but after injury, it possesses tremendous ability to regrow its epithelium - a whole new lung segment can regenerate after partial pneumonectomy. Yet, in chronic lung disease e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), regeneration is rare or occurs abnormally. The project examines the role of tissue-resident immune cells (innate lymphoid cells, Tregs, resident alveolar macrophages) in maintaining steady-state quiescence and coordinating appropriate repair after injury of the alveolar epithelium. The work will focus on the use of spatial transcriptomics to examine the in situ changes in tissue resident immune cells in the lungs,  its co-localisation with regenerating alveolar epithelium and alveolar progenitor cells during injury and regeneration/repair. There will be an emphasis on functional studies using alveolar organoids.

Contact details:

Our team

Selected publications