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The Cardiovascular Inflammation Group has a strong interest in the inflammatory cell signature of vascular tissue and in how these cells are activated via innate immunity receptors. A key technique we use in our team is mass cytometry (CyTOF), as well as models of cardiovascular diseases. 

Cardiovascular disease is associated with chronic inflammation of vascular tissues, which contributes to disease pathogenesis. Pattern recognition receptors (PRR) such as toll-like receptors (TLR), NOD-like receptors and C-type lectins are microbial and tissue damage sensors that initiate downstream inflammatory responses. The precise role of PRR signalling in the vasculature and the therapeutic potential of interfering with, or exploiting, PRR signalling in cardiovascular disease is mostly unknown.

We established innovative methods for the isolation, culture and targeting of cells isolated from human atheroma lesions. Using this system combined with in vivo models we have shown that pattern recognition by TLRs can elicit either protective or detrimental effects in atherosclerosis, depending on the sensing pattern (extracellular versus endosomal).

We now study how cellular crosstalk between resident and inflammatory cell subsets affect arterial tissue composition and cardiovascular disease development. These studies will provide insight into the tissue changes that accompany chronic inflammation and how these changes contribute to pathogenesis of immunometabolic diseases.

DPHIL Opportunities

The department accepts applications throughout the year but it is recommended that, in the first instance, you contact Professor Claudia Monaco.



Related research themes