I completed a BA(Hons) degree at Girton College, University of Cambridge in 2003 and PhD in Gastroenterology at the University of Liverpool in 2008. Following 3 post-doc posts, I became a tenure-track fellow in 2013 and tenured lecturer (equivalent of Assistant Professor in other countries) in 2016. I am now a lecturer in the Department of Cellular Molecular Physiology, in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool.
My research interests are focused on the regulation of gastrointestinal architecture and the maintenance of gut homeostasis with a focus on the intestinal epithelium. I am particularly interested in the processes that modulate the susceptibility to the development of drug-induced gastrointestinal toxicity, colitis, colitis-associated cancer and the processes that occur in the gut during the early stages of sepsis. The epithelium consists of a single layer of cells, turning over around once every 5 days, and yet forms a very effective barrier against invasion into the body by bacteria and other microorganisms that are found in great abundance in the intestinal lumen. This barrier function of the intestine fails as either a cause or a consequence of several intestinal and systemic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), coeliac disease (CD), off-target toxic effects of drugs, and sepsis, often resulting in excessive inflammation, epithelial cell destruction and further perpetuation of disease.
My lab aims to target the processes and mechanisms responsible for this breakdown of intestinal barrier function, epithelial cell destruction and inflammation in order to develop novel therapeutic approaches. We have recently identified the NF-κB2 transcription factor as an important regulator of intestinal epithelial damage in murine in vivo models and in intestinal organoid culture, and are currently developing novel methods to modulate the NF-κB2 signalling pathway to prevent injury to the intestinal epithelium.
- Researcher in the Spotlight
- University of Liverpool Celebrating Success Awards 2015