Dr Yisu Gu, a researcher in Professor Fiona Powrie’s group, has been awarded a highly competitive Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship to support her research into control of the immune response in chronic inflammatory disease.
As a clinician specialising in haematology, Yisu joined Professor Powrie’s group to learn basic immunology research as well as techniques that can be used to analyse specific types of immune cells. The funding from the Wellcome Trust will extend Yisu’s initial nine-month placement by another three years, and will support Yisu’s training towards a DPhil in Cell and Molecular Medicine.
Speaking of her award, Yisu said “I am very grateful to the Wellcome Trust for this fellowship, which will give me the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of basic immunology to complement my clinical interests of using immunotherapy to treat haematological malignancies”.
During her fellowship, Yisu will apply advanced imaging techniques to study tertiary lymphoid organs – the discrete structures jam packed with immune cells that form during chronic inflammation. Tertiary lymphoid organs are detected in a range of chronic inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Yisu’s work aims to establish to what extent these structures promote – or possibly contain – the inflammatory response and disease progression.
The Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship scheme is designed to provide training and support for the next generation of clinician scientists. Around 60 fellowships will be awarded in 2016 to support both national and international research.