My research as an undergraduate focussed on oxidative damage to the airway epithelium and inflammation-induced airway remodelling in asthma.
I have now made the journey into the gut with the Powrie Lab, but continue to be interested in the consequences of immune-mediated epithelial repair processes going awry and becoming pathogenic.
Specifically, interleukin 22 (IL-22) is an IL-10 cytokine superfamily member with a critical role in intestinal epithelial repair, but is also indispensable for primary tumorigenesis in an animal model of bacteria-driven invasive colorectal cancer (CRC). At present, the mechanism of IL-22-dependent neoplasia remains unknown. I am interested in in the interaction and potential synergism between oncogenic mutations and cytokine signalling networks in the development and progression of colorectal cancer. With an understanding of the basic biology, the hope is to be able to stratify patients based on specific mutational and inflammatory signatures and identify those who would be responsive to immune-modulatory therapies.