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    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I have been actively researching inflammation and immunity in pulmonary diseases since my PhD with a Scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). After a post-doctoral training at UC Davis (USA), I returned to Queen’s to develop my expertise in regulators of inflammation in chronic airway diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Asthma. My current work focuses on the role of the innate immunity in epithelial inflammation and its regulation. Our results in CF confirmed prolonged TLR4 signalling and persistent NF-kB activation associated with reduced lysosomal degradation and increased TLR4 recycling in CF. Subsequently I was the first to describe a dysregulation and lack of the NF-kB regulator A20 in CF, which was highly correlated to lung function in these patients. We also showed that pharmacological induction of A20 is anti-inflammatory, supporting the importance of A20 in NF-kB driven inflammation. Based on this proof of principle, my laboratory applied bioinformatics to predict drugs already licensed for use in humans to induce A20 as a potential therapeutic intervention for people with CF (Malcomson B et al. PNAS 2016). However, the blunted response of these repurposed drugs on A20 in chronic airway inflammation lead to the current investigations of potential A20 regulators. Additionally, based on the recent findings on A20 I am extending my research programme to potential drug development programmes with QUB. I am dedicated to develop an understanding and enthusiasm for research in under-graduate and post-graduate students. I am committed to inter-disciplinary research with a major focus on translational work to improve diagnosis or therapies for patients with chronic airway diseases.

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Research Output

A connectivity mapping approach predicted acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) to induce osteo/odontogenic differentiation of dental pulp cells

Rankin, R., Lundy, F., Schock, B. C., Zhang, S. D., Al-Natour, B., About, I., Irwin, C., Linden, G. J. & El Karim, I. A., Jun 2020, In : International Endodontic Journal. 53, 6, p. 834-845 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxins In People With Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

    Wen, H., McCaughan, J., Schock, B. C., Reid, A., Rendall, J. C., Elborn, J. S., Downey, D. G., Ennis, M. & Moore, J. E., Jan 2020, In : The Ulster Medical Journal. 89, 1, p. 38-39 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Improved culture detection of Staphylococcus aureus from sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF)

    Wen, H., Stirling, J., McCaughan, J., Schock, B., Downey, D. G., Ennis, M. & Moore, J. E., 13 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Clinical Pathology. jclinpath-2019-206059

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    Improved management of airway disorders in children

    Liam Heaney (Participant), Ian Cadden (Participant), Michael Shields (Participant), Madeleine Ennis (Participant), Bettina Schock (Participant), Vanessa Brown (Participant), Michael Ryan (Participant), Dennis Carson (Participant) & Timothy Warke (Participant)

    Impact: Health Impact, Quality of Life Impact