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Research Focus

I'm interested in developing strategies to enhance the immune response against difficult-to-treat pathogens - known as host-directed therapies. I am specialty registrar in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology and currently pursuing a PhD investigating a potential cell therapy for mycobacterial pulmonary infections, under the supervision of Prof Cecilia O'Kane, Dr Anna Krasnodembskaya and Dr Gunnar Schroeder.

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult cells that regenerate injured tissues in normal health. Recent discoveries about their ability to modulate immune cells and release antimicrobial factors have highlighted a potential role in treating difficult infections. I am studying MSC ability to enhance macrophages in the killing of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).These bacteria are multi-drug resistant and are a growing cause of respiratory infection in patients with impaired immunity and structural lung disease. The typical antibiotic course for NTM pulmonary infection lasts around 18 months and has poor outcomes for many patients.

My aim is to help bring better treatments to the bedside by testing MSCs and other new approaches to improve immune clearance of difficult respiratory pathogens like NTM.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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