My major research interest is the crosstalk between the heart and the immune system in cardiac pathology. My team aims to characterise the role of the adaptive immune system in regeneration and recovery of the heart after myocardial infarction as well as in non-ischaemic heart conditions.
Ongoing projects focus on the pathological role of anti-heart autoantibodies, the impact of systemic autoimmunity on the heart, the DC-T cell axes in cardiac immunopathology and immune-modulatory therapies and biomaterial-based approaches as therapeutic options in heart disease.
The adaptive immune system in the development of heart disease: My team aims to identify which adaptive immune cells and factors are truly pathological and what are the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity. This will allow the establishment of new and improved biomarkers and therapeutic strategies.
Biomaterial-based strategies for post-MI immunomodulation: In collaboration with leading biomaterials experts my team works on immunological characteristics of a range of biomaterials as well as on micro-particle strategies for immunomodulation post-MI.
The influence of genetic diversity on immune-mediated heart failure: In collaboration with both human and mouse geneticists in the UK and the US, we aim to unravel the genetic basis for immune-mediated heart failure as well as investigate genetic influences on the increased susceptibility to heart disease in systemic autoimmune patients.
There are currently 3 PhD projects being pursued in the team:
- The role of autoimmunity in post-myocardial infarction electrophysiological remodelling. (BHF 4-Year MRes/PhD Studentship co-supervised with Dr Fu Siong Ng and Prof Nadia Rosenthal, PhD student: Catherine Jenkins)
- Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived Exosomes as Immunomodulatory Therapeutic Agents in the Infarcted Heart: Role of Dendritic Cells. (BHF 4-Year MRes/PhD Studentship co-supervised with Prof Costanza Emanueli, PhD student: Natasha de Winter)
- The role of the immune system in mitochondria-mediated cardiomyopathies. (BHF 4-Year MRes/PhD Studentship co-supervised with Dr Tristan Rodriguez, PhD student: Amalia Sintou)