Autoimmune diseases, where the body's defence systems turn on itself, are chronic and can be devastating to people's lives. Our podcasts on autoimmune conditions detail research in NDM on some of these conditions, including MS, spondyloarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as the biological mechanisms underpinning autoimmunity itself.
Professor Richard Cornall tells us about his research on autoimmunity. Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system, which is normally designed to attack pathogens, ends up attacking the body. This can lead to a number of diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Richard Cornall aims to understand the causes of autoimmune disease, and also how people differ in their inherited susceptibility, and why these differences are sustained in human populations by natural selection. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Professor Fiona Powrie talks about the importance of our guts, and her research in gastroenterology. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Immune System in the Gastrointestinal tract
Dr Holm Uhlig talks about the role of the immune system in our gastrointestinal tract. The gastrointestinal tract is home to more bacteria than there are cells in our body. In order to stay healthy, our immune system must maintain a strong and effective response towards these bacteria. Dr Holm Uhlig is based at the Translational Gastroenterology Unit and studies defects in the immune response and regulation leading to immunopathology. Dr Uhlig is predominately interested in children with inflammatory bowel disease, and aims to understand the complex puzzle of molecular mechanisms involved. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Professor Lars Fugger talks about his research on multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the brain and the central nervous system. While there were no therapies for MS 20 years ago, there are now 8 registered drugs for the disease. Professor Lars Fugger focuses on translational studies in multiple sclerosis and uses a multidisciplinary approach; his group consists of both basic scientists and clinicians. Professor Fugger is seeking to understand the molecular basis for the MHC association in MS and how MHC genes interact with environmental factors such as viruses.
Professor Paul Bowness tells us about his work on spondyloarthritis. Professor Paul Bowness works on Ankylosing Spondylitis, the commonest form of spondyloarthritis. This rheumatic disease is caused by an overacting immune system. It has a major genetic component: at least five to ten genes are known to contribute the disease, with HLA-B27 being by far the most important. Professor Bowness is investigating interactions between these genes and the immune system, for both healthy people and patients with arthritis, to better understand Ankylosing Spondylitis and how to manage it. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/