Professor Ten Feizi is Director of The Glycosciences Laboratory. She gained MB BS and MD at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, and held fellowships from MRC and US Arthritis Foundation as guest investigator in laboratories of Henry Kunkel (Rockefeller University) and Elvin A Kabat (Columbia Medical Center).
In 1973 Ten Feizi was appointed to MRC’s Clinical Research Centre. There she established a research group which later became The Glycosciences Laboratory of Imperial College.
Ten Feizi’s research started on the red cell autoantibodies triggered by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. She established that the autoantibodies (anti-I) are mono- or oligo-clonal, and directed at carbohydrate sequences that are backbones of the blood group antigens ABO(H) and also of host cell receptors of M. pneumoniae. Her laboratory was the first to sequence the carbohydrates of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of HIV and demonstrate their interactions with the macrophage receptor.
Initially working with the human monoclonal autoantibodies, and later murine hybridoma antibodies, Ten Feizi and colleagues established their exquisite specificities for oligosaccharide sequences (up to heptasaccharides). Using these antibodies, they observed programmed changes in expression of blood group-related sequences during embryogenesis, cell differentiation and oncogenesis. In an article in Nature 1985, which became an ISI citation classic in Glycobiology, she predicted roles for these carbohydrates, now corroborated as ligands for the leukocyte endothelial adhesion molecules, selectins.
In 1985, Ten Feizi and colleagues introduced the neoglycolipid (NGL) technology for lipid-linked oligosaccharide probes. In 2002 this became the first glycoarray system intended to encompass entire glycomes. This is currently the most diverse glycoarray system in the world, revolutionizing the molecular dissection of pathogen-host interactions as well as endogenous recognition systems. Recent highlights are assignments of the host cell receptors for the oncogenic simian virus 40 (SV40) and the pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 influenza virus.
Ten Feizi is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Research Award of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and of the Rosalind Kornfeld Life Time Achievement Award of the Society for Glycobiology.