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The Medical Research Council’s Infections and Immunity Board (IIB) funds research into infectious human disease and disorders of the human immune system.

Professor irina Udalova

Irina Udalova, Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Kennedy Institute, has been appointed to the MRC's Infections and Immunity Board (IIB). She will begin her two-year tenure in April 2024 and will actively support the board's strategy to fund research into human pathogens, as well as the development and functioning of the human immune system.

'I am delighted to join the MRC IIB board at the time of changes in the MRC funding streams and priorities,' said Irina. 'I have been very impressed with the openness of the IIB board grant application review process, feedback provided, approachability and helpfulness of the office members, and continuing commitment to discovery as well as translational research in immunology. I am looking forward to making my contributions to the MRC operations and global strategy development.'

Irina leads a group at the Kennedy that explores the genomics of inflammation to understand how the inflammatory response is controlled at the molecular level. Her work has uncovered the role of protein IRF5 in inflammation. IRF5 could be a major target for drug development in inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Her current focus is on decoding a transcriptional blueprint of neutrophil development and function in tissue and vasculature.

The MRC appoints internationally-recognised leaders from academia and industry to be members of their boards, including the IIB. Board members play a key role in delivering MRC's objectives across the major areas of medical science in the MRC portfolio. The IIB remit includes host response to pathogens; normal immunology including cellular and molecular immunology and inflammation; and immune disease and vaccine research through to clinical infections and antimicrobial resistance.