Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

The MCT infection, immunity and inflammation pillar includes the work of eight principal investigators directing independent research programmes focusing on disorders and symptoms that impact the immune system.

These investigators contribute to research programmes consisting of basic and translational components that are designed to: elucidate the molecular and cellular changes underpinning bacterial and viral infection, understand the host response to infection during sepsis, understand the role of the immune system underlying the pathogenesis of disorders such as Sjogren's syndrome, Uveitis, Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis, and understand how molecular clocks contribute to inflammatory disorders such as Arthritis and Cardiovascular disease. The research draws from fundamental mechanisms of cell and tissue homeostasis, 3D in vitro models, computer modeling, models of disease and clinical samples/studies, where the overall aim is to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics.

Specific research interests include:

  • Using chemoinformatics and computer modelling to design new therapeutics for Staphlococcus aureus infection, malaria and autoimmune disorders (Dr Marian Brennan)
  • Understanding how bacteria specifically interacts with platelets and platelet biology (Prof. Dermot Cox)
  • A focus on the inflammatory signalling pathways in the Cystic Fibrosis airway microenvironment (Dr Judith Coppinger)
  • Investigating how dysregulated body clocks impact on immune cell function and lead to inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease (Dr Annie Curtis)
  • Understanding how sepsis damages the body with a specific focus on developing clinically relevant 3D models of infection, in addition to investigating platelet and endothelial cell interactions with the offending pathogen (Prof. Steve Kerrigan)
  • Characterising the role of small RNA molecules called microRNAs in autoimmune disorders that affect the eye, in particular Sjogren's syndrome and uveitis (Prof. Conor Murphy and Dr Joan Ni Gabhann)
  • Understanding how microRNAs impact on immune cell function and the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (Dr Claire McCoy)