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Personal profile

Research Focus

I am a specialty registrar in Medical Microbiology, interested in new strategies to boost the immune response against complex pulmonary infections. The focus of my PhD is investigating the potential for mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a host-directed therapy for non-tuberculous mycobacterial 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 cell function has lead to their interest as a potential therapy for inflammation and infection.

I am studying MSC ability to enhance macrophages in the killing of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). These bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics and are a growing cause of pulmonary infection in patients with impaired immunity and structural lung disease. Today, the standard therapy for patients diagnosed with NTM pulmonary infection is a combination of three antibiotics taken for 12-18 months. The drugs can have severe side effects (such as kidney impairment and hearing loss) so that many patients cannot tolerate the full course, and even when treatment is tolerated success rates are under 60%. Therefore we urgently need new approaches to activate the immune response against NTM and enhance antibiotic clearance.

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Projects

Research Output

Emerging drugs for treating the acute respiratory distress syndrome

Shaw, T. D., McAuley, D. F. & O'Kane, C. M., 18 Mar 2019, In : Expert opinion on emerging drugs. 24, 1, p. 29-41 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    Open Access
    File
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    78 Downloads (Pure)

    A putative novel mechanism of resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin in clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecium in Northern Ireland

    Shaw, T. D., Schneiders, T., Pathiraja, M., Hill, R. L. R., Elborn, J. S. & McMullan, R., 12 May 2014.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in adults with cystic fibrosis

    Kenny, S. L., Shaw, T. D., Downey, D. G., Moore, J. E., Rendall, J. C. & Elborn, J. S., Aug 2014, In : BMJ Open Respiratory Research. 1, p. 1-7 e000021.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 16 Citations (Scopus)
    132 Downloads (Pure)