Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Tonia Vincent, Jelena Bezbradica and Alex Clarke have been awarded funding grants by the Medical Research Council (MRC) for different projects.

Tonia Vincent, Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic and Alex Clarke
Tonia Vincent, Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic and Alex Clarke

Tonia Vincent will carry out research that will aim to understand how microbes in the gut can protect joints from osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis will affect half of us during our lifetime, there are currently no effective drugs to treat the condition or completely alleviate any of the symptoms, so it is hoped that this research may point to new ways of preventing its development or progression.

On receiving the funding, Tonia said "We are very excited to acquire this funding for a project that started in my lab 14 years ago! The project will attempt to unravel how gut derived systemic metabolites alter osteoarthritis; an area that has immediate translational potential."

Jelena Bezbradica Mirkovic will study the NLRP3 – an intracellular sensor of infection and cellular stress important for antimicrobial defence. She said "Excessive NLRP3 activity either due to genetic mutations, or persistent activation, cause inflammation and resulting pathologies.  Therefore, understanding the endogenous licencing mechanisms that prevent unwanted, excessive NLRP3 responses is important. Our new MCR grant will allow us to characterise one such mechanism that limits NLRP3 activation. This work will help us understand why NLRP3 inflammasome sometimes gets uncontrollably activated, and how we may be able to restore the control over this pathway to reduce inappropriate inflammation."

Alex Clarke will study Graves disease, the most common cause of an overactive throid gland. One of the most serious complications of Graves disease is that it can cause swelling behind the eye, pushing it forward and in some cases threatening sight. Alex said about his research "We know antibodies are important in Graves' disease, but why some patient develop eye problems is unknown. In our study, we'll use single cell analysis techniques to understand how the tissues behind the eye change in active and inactive Graves' disease, and how antibody-producing cells interact with fibroblasts to influence this. This MRC award will allow us to build our research capacity across immune diseases and disciplines, and leverage the state-of-the-art science platforms available at the Kennedy Institute."

MEET THE TEAM

Similar stories

Two prestigious Hunterian Professorships awarded to NDORMS researchers

Conrad Harrison and Tom Layton have both been awarded Hunterian Professorships for 2022 by the Royal College of Surgeons of England

A new research computing platform advances the understanding of key biological processes in disease

To respond to advances in technology and try to answer an increasing range of biological questions, the Kennedy Institute has invested in a high-performance computing facility. We speak to Brian Marsden, Associate Professor of Research Informatics at the Kennedy to find out more.

NIHR funding for musculoskeletal and inflammatory disease research

Health and care research in Oxford is to receive £122 million in government funding over the next five years to improve diagnosis, treatment and care for NHS patients.

Leducq Foundation grant boosts cardiovascular research

The Leducq Foundation has awarded $7.5 million to researchers at the University of Oxford and their collaborators to advance immunotherapy as a treatment for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the UK.

MRC funding awarded to Kennedy researchers

Two new projects led by Tal Arnon and Irina Udalova have been awarded Medical Research Council (MRC) funding.

Kennedy programmes support early career researchers

Since 2013 the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology has been running a Career Development Programme, a scheme to help early career researchers launch their own independent laboratories, and more recently the Innovator Investigator Programme to bring new technologies to core research themes.