Brief biography and research interest:
I am currently a Reader in Cellular Immunology in the Department of Immunology and Inflammation at Imperial College London.
I did my MSc degree at the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Copenhagen, Denmark. I did my PhD in immunology at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK with a focus on food allergy and skin immunology. As a PostDoc I joined Adrian Hayday’s research group at Kings College London and later worked at Cancer Research UK. My PostDoc studies were focused on autologous sterile stress responses in the skin and their recognition by resident immune cells. In 2012 I took up a position as Lecturer at Imperial College London and became an independent group leader. The following year I was awarded the Wellcome Trust New Investigator Award and in 2019 the prestigious Wellcome Trust Investigator Award.
My laboratory studies immune-surveillance at epithelial body surface tissues and focus on understanding the role of tissue resident immune cells in regulating epithelial cell homeostasis, repair and carcinogenesis. My lab work mainly in the skin and have a particular interest in the origins of Type 2 immunity and its role in immune stress-surveillance and host defence.
Work in my laboratory is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, CRUK and the British Skin Foundation.
Teaching and public engagement:
In addition to my research focus, I am involved in many different aspects of teaching on higher degree courses at Imperial College. I teach on several courses but with a predominant focus on the MSc in Immunology, BSc in Infection and Immunity and the MSc in Molecular Medicine courses. This involves, lecturing, personal tutoring, journal clubs etc. Every year I offer projects for MSc/BSc students in my lab.
I am the Section Cohort Leader for Postgraduate studies in the Centre for Inflammatory Disease, Imperial College London.
I am on the progress review panel for several PhD students across College and regularly act as an external examiner for PhD students in the UK and across Europe.
I lecture annually to clinicians/industry on ‘Immunological concepts’ during the ‘immunology short course’ at Hammersmith, which is mainly for clinicians and interested individuals from industry.
In 2015 I was recognised for ‘excellence in teaching’ and received the Department of Medicine Teaching Award.
In 2017 I was nominated for the British Society for Immunology’s inaugural ‘Immunology Teaching Excellence Award’ for ‘excellent teaching record and ability'.
I am committed to engage with the general public regarding my lab's scientific endeavour. I utilise a range of platforms to reach out to diverse audiences on my specific area of expertise and on scientific research in general. I yearly actively partake in the ‘Imperial Festival’ where I have, for example, given talks on ‘Cancer Immunology’. I have also been part of the exhibition ‘Of Blooded Things’ with the artist Suzi Morris. Every year I run ‘tours’ of our laboratories to discuss my work with members of the public including volunteer for charities. I welcome secondary school children for ‘work experience’ in my lab and have given talks on ‘what does a scientist do’ and ‘women in science’ in both primary and secondary schools. I hosted a live ‘Ask me Anything’ Q&A session on Reddit in January 2019 where I discussed my research on how the immune system controls skin cancer.
I strive to make important contributions to management at College and Department level. I am leading the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion/Athena Swan Committee for our new Department, which will assess and advance diversity and gender balance across all areas of Department – including equal opportunities and work balance for all staff and students. I am committed to achieving a great work environment for all and work towards full transparency and equality.
I am actively involved in reviewing and managing the College’s processes on ethics and animal welfare. I co-chair the BioServices Operations Committee, am a member of the Management and Strategy Committee and the Quality and Assurance Committee.
et al., 2019, A wave of monocytes is recruited to replenish the long-term Langerhans cell network after immune injury, Science Immunology, Vol:4, ISSN:2470-9468, Pages:1-14
et al., 2018, Epithelial damage and tissue gamma delta T cells promote a unique tumor-protective IgE response, Nature Immunology, Vol:19, ISSN:1529-2908, Pages:859-870
et al., 2018, C1q restrains autoimmunity and viral infection by regulating CD8+ T cell metabolism, Science, Vol:360, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:558-563
et al., 2017, Initiation of Antiviral B Cell Immunity Relies on Innate Signals from Spatially Positioned NKT Cells., Cell, Vol:172, ISSN:0092-8674, Pages:517-533.e20
et al., 2016, IL-13 from intraepithelial lymphocytes regulates tissue homeostasis and protects against carcinogenesis in the skin, Nature Communications, Vol:7, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-12
Strid KJ, Dalessandri T, 2014, Beneficial autoimmunity at body surfaces – immune surveillance and rapid type 2 immunity regulate tissue homeostasis and cancer, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:5, ISSN:1664-3224
et al., 2011, The intraepithelial T cell response to NKG2D-ligands links lymphoid stress surveillance to atopy, Science, Vol:334, Pages:1293-1297
et al., 2008, Acute upregulation of an NKG2D ligand promotes rapid reorganization of a local immune compartment with pleiotropic effects on carcinogenesis., Nat Immunol., Vol:9, Pages:146-154