Immunology and inflammation
Lead: Professor Kevin Forsyth
Respiratory syncytial virus and viral mechanisms of airway inflammation in infants
These studies examine immunological mechanisms of airway inflammation induced by respiratory viruses, in particular RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).
In vivo inflammatory mechanisms using cell lines and laboratory immunological methodologies are examined, as well as immunological mediators from infants with acute active bronchiolitis.
Neutrophilic airway inflammation
We have evidence that some of the mechanisms considered to be pathological in human bronchiolitis relate to neutrophil-mediated epithelial damage and airway leak.
These studies are examining putative blockers and inhibitors of such neutrophil damage and their effect on human airways.
LPS and the hygiene hypothesis
In parallel to the studies above, this work examines the way that LPS activates or down-regulates various immunological mediators, including the Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) in both human and murine studies.
Peanut protein allergy
In these studies, the common peanut allergens are denatured and their subsequent effect on allergy or tolerance potential examined.
The role of small Ara peptides on T-cell responses and allergy-protective effects are examined through mass spectrometry.
This work is in in conjunction with:
- Dr Tim Chataway - Proteomics
- Dr Billy Tao – PhD candidate in this area and undertakes clinical trials on the basis of the melecular work
Lead: Dr Scott Morris
Therapeutic hypothermia is now a well-established therapy for term infants who have suffered from birth asphyxia. However, our understanding of the thermoregulatory response to this is not well defined.
The Neonatology Unit is pioneering exciting new research into different aspects of thermoregulation in full-term and pre-term babies. Cutting-edge imaging technology is being used for highly accurate measurements of skin temperature down to .01 of a degree. This technology is being used to investigate the role of brown fat as a source of heat production in response to cold stress.
The investigators plan to add measurement of oxygen consumption to this program to further define both normal thermal physiology and the response to cold.
Lead: Dr Suja Mary Mathew
The dietary intakes of children who present to the paediatric outpatient clinics for an appointment are assessed using age-based validated dietary screening tools.
It is anticipated that the data collected will provide a better understanding of the nutritional risks faced by children attending the paediatric outpatient clinic, and provide evidence to guide future opportunities for nutrition intervention, education and support within this population group.