Autoimmunity against blood cells can cause significant morbidity and mortality, yet it is poorly understood. Dr Nichola Cooper’s team works towards better understanding the cause of autoimmunity with the aim of tailoring treatment and designing more targeted treatment.
We use whole-genome sequencing in trios to identify novel pathways in immune regulation and in deep-phenotyped cohorts to identify disease types. We collaborate with Dr Andy Porter to use gene editing to further explore these pathways. We also use next-generation sequencing to explore acquired mechanisms of autoimmunity, including TCR sequencing and clonality. In vitro, we have developed techniques to explore different aspects of disease which includes T cell and B cell-mediated disease. In addition, we have developed a method of megakaryocytes development in vitro in which we can further explore the mechanisms by which the autoimmune process inhibits megakaryocyte development and platelet production as well as platelet destruction. In the clinic, we run phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials, inhibiting BTK, SYK and FcRn pathways, and we have developed a method of risk stratification of disease using MRI of the brain to detect microhaemorrhages.
Dr Nichola Cooper
4S10C, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Campus