Research Focus

Our lab is focused on unravelling heterogeneity and function within myeloid cells particularly in the context of tissue damage and Inflammation in mice and humans. Specifically, we are Interested in myeloid cells in the liver and intestine and the potential links between these two organs. To do this, we use state of the art techniques including single cell RNA sequencing, CITE-seq and 28-parameter flow cytometry alongside specific in vivo mouse models including the Clec4F-Cre to target Kupffer cells in the liver, the Xcr1-Cre to target cDC1s and the Fcgr1-Cre to target all macrophages.

Presence of lipid (purple) in lean versus obese liver. We are studying how the macrophages present (yellow) deal with this lipid and how these cells could be manipulated to help.

Currently, we are examining myeloid cell heterogeneity and functions in acute liver injury, infection and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, funded by ERC-Stg). NAFLD is currently one of the most significant clinical burdens in the western world and is thought to be the main reason for liver transplantation by 2030. Despite this there are no effective treatments currently available. As myeloid cells have been proposed to play a role in NAFLD progression we hypothesize that correctly identifying and distinguishing between these cell subsets and subsequently examining their specific functions will lead to a better understanding of this disease and may lead to new avenues for therapy.

  • Identification of myeloid cells subsets across tissues and species
  • In vivo models of liver disease
  • 28 parameter flow cytometry
  • Single cell technologies

Caption picture:
Kupffer cells (yellow) are the predominant macrophage population in the healthy liver. Upon paracetamol overdose a new population of macrophages (red) are recruited to the injury. We study what the functions of these different macrophage populations are.

Technology Transfer Potential

  • Identification of subsets of interest to target therapeutically
  • Study of the role of myeloid cell subsets in health and disease
  • Novel mouse models for studying MNP subsets in vivo