The overarching aim of the NIHR Imperial BRC immunology theme is to improve the diagnosis and therapy of four chronic inflammatory disorders: systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, renal transplantation and glomerular, and chronic kidney disease. Our strategy is to develop treatments based on immunopathogenic mechanisms, with a view to individualising patient management and pursuing innovative proof-of-concept studies. This will be achieved by integrating the pre-clinical and basic biomedical research performed in our laboratories with the translational research performed within Imperial College London’s specialist multidisciplinary clinical centres: Lupus Centre, Vasculitis Centre, and Renal and Transplant Centre. The four disease areas we focus on:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
We care for almost 400 patients with lupus, may of whom have nephritis. One aim of our work is to improve our ability to detect remission, which indicates that the patient may be able to stop immunosuppressive treatments. We are also working to stratify patients with nephritis, using biomarkers, which enables us to identify patient sub-groups that could be suitable for proof-of-concept studies of new therapies.

Ultimately, our aim is to achieve earlier diagnosis of vasculitis, optimise disease management, facilitate future clinical trials, and improve long-term outcomes for patients. This programme of work will utilise imaging, biomarker, clinical and scientific laboratory expertise available within Imperial College London, and will be performed in collaboration with the Rare Multisystem Diseases European Research Network, Oxford and Cambridge BRCs.

In January 2020, Imperial College awarded The Centre of Excellence in Vasculitis Research as part of the initiative to develop more multidisciplinary centres. It’s aims align with the BRC and is intending to strengthen cross-faculty research collaborations to answer important research questions in the area of vasculitis. More information can be found on their website here.

Renal Transplantation
We aim to improve the stratification of patients into low- and high-risk groups, to avoid the complications of both under- and over-immunosuppression, and to inform clinical trials. To do this, we use molecular techniques to investigate several biomarkers of immunological risk.

Glomerular and Chronic Kidney Disease
We have the largest group of dialysis patients in a single treatment centre in the UK. This enables us to do early phase clinical studies and perform experimental medicine. Our approach is multidisciplinary and aims to improve the holistic care of patients at all stages of disease. We are also looking at methods that can select patients for specific treatments – moving towards personalised medicine for kidney disease.

Our multidisciplinary approach is supported by collaborations within the Imperial College London ecosystem and our work with external partners and funders, including the Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, Kidney Research UK, the Royal Brompton, and a number of pharmaceutical and biomedical companies.

Key Individuals
  • Professor Marina Botto
    Professor Marina Botto
    Theme Lead, Immunology
  • Dr Adam McLean
    Dr Adam McLean
    Consultant nephrologist
  • Dr Andrew Frankel
    Dr Andrew Frankel
    Consultant renal physician
  • Dr Benjamin Mullish
    Dr Benjamin Mullish
    Clinical Research Fellow
  • Dr Candice Roufosse
    Dr Candice Roufosse
    Consultant Histopathologist
  • Dr Damien Ashby
    Dr Damien Ashby
    Clinical Lecturer in Renal Medicine
  • Dr Dawn Goodall
    Dr Dawn Goodall
    Renal Pharmacist
  • Dr Horace Williams
    Dr Horace Williams
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
  • Dr James Tomlinson
    Dr James Tomlinson
    Chain-Florey Clinical Lecturer
  • Dr Jia Li
    Dr Jia Li
    Lecturer in Human Development and Microbial Signalling
  • Dr Jonathan Hoare
    Dr Jonathan Hoare
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
  • Dr Kevin Woollard
    Dr Kevin Woollard
    Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Megan Griffith
    Dr Megan Griffith
    Consultant Nephrologist
  • Dr Neill Duncan
    Dr Neill Duncan
    Renal Consultant
  • Dr Nikihl Vergis
    Dr Nikihl Vergis
    Clinical Research Fellow
  • Dr Paul Brookes
    Dr Paul Brookes
    Director, Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory
  • Dr Pinelopi Manousou
    Dr Pinelopi Manousou
    Consultant Hepatologist
  • Dr Stephen McAdoo
    Dr Stephen McAdoo
    NIHR Clinical Lecturer
  • Dr Terence Cook
    Dr Terence Cook
    Professor of Renal Pathology
  • Dr Tom Cairns
    Dr Tom Cairns
    Clinical Director and Chief of Service, Renal Medicine
  • Professor Ailsa Hart
    Professor Ailsa Hart
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
  • Professor Charles Pusey
    Professor Charles Pusey
    Professor of Medicine
  • Professor Danny Altmann
    Professor of Immunology
  • Professor Edwina Brown
    Professor Edwina Brown
    Consultant Nephrologist
  • Professor Frederick Tam
    Professor Frederick Tam
    Ken and Mary Minton Chair of Renal Medicine / Consultant Nephrologist
  • Professor Justin Mason
    Professor Justin Mason
    Professor of Vascular Rheumatology
  • Professor Liz Lightstone
    Professor Liz Lightstone
    Professor of Renal Medicine
  • Professor Matthew Pickering
    Professor Matthew Pickering
    Professor of Rheumatology
  • Professor Rosemary Boyton
    Professor of Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Professor Simon Taylor
    Professor Simon Taylor
    Honorary Senior Research Fellow/Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
  • Professor Timothy Orchard
    Professor Timothy Orchard
    Professor of Gastroenterology
  • Professor Vassilios Papalois
    Professor Vassilios Papalois
    Consultant Transplant Surgeon
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