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Dr Daniel Puleston has been awarded a four year Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to help promising early stage researchers launch an independent research career, and will support Daniel as he investigates the link between cellular metabolism and immunity.

Daniel will work with Prof Erika Pearce at the Max Planck Institute for Immunology, Germany, to examine how specific cellular metabolites support T cells in their ability to rapidly multiply in response to pathogens. Ultimately, Daniel hopes his studies will reveal vital signalling pathways that can be targeted to manipulate the immune response in diseases such as autoimmunity and cancer.

The project will also involve close collaboration with Kennedy investigators Prof Katja Simon and Prof Fiona Powrie, as well as Dr Alfredo Castello (Oxford) and Prof Doreen Cantrell (Dundee).

Speaking of his fellowship, Daniel said “I am incredibly grateful to receive a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. This fellowship is unique in that it allows me to carry out my postdoctoral work at two world-class centres, the Kennedy Institute at Oxford and the Max Planck Institute for Immunology in Freiburg. The research performed in both locations will hopefully expand our knowledge on the role cellular metabolism plays in the immune response and how metabolic pathways can be targeted to modulate the immune system."

Daniel recently completed his DPhil with Prof Katja Simon. His work showed a cellular ‘cleanup’ process called autophagy is needed to establish long-term immunity after vaccination. He also found drugs that boost autophagy overcome the weak responses to vaccination that are associated with ageing.