Photo of Professor Christian Hedrich

Professor Christian Hedrich MD, PhD

Professor of Child Health Women's & Children's Health

Research

Research Overview

"My core research interests are molecular mechanisms of cytokine regulation and their effects on disease expression in the spectrum from autoinflammation to autoimmunity. Special foci include the autoinflammatory bone disorder chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO), the mixed-pattern disease psoriasis, and the prototypical autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). I am actively involved with consensus treatment plan initiatives of the North American CARRA group (CNO) and treat to target (T2T) initiatives of the German Society of Pediatric Rheumatology (GKJR) (SLE, systemic JIA, CNO). Both initiatives aim at translating knowledge from small patient cohorts, daily clinical experience, and laboratory studies into routine patient care, and back to the laboratory bench."

Chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis

Examining autoinflammatory mechanisms in CNO, my group identified pro-inflammatory phenotypes of monocytes as central players in disease pathophysiology. We’ve focused on dysregulated cytokine responses of monocytes promoting bone inflammation through inflammasome activation. Our findings explain beneficial effects of current treatment options in CNO.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a mixed-pattern disorder combining features from autoinflammatory and autoimmune disorders. My research group is interested in the contribution and phenotypes of TCR+CD3+CD4-CD8- (so-called double negative, DN) T cells in health and disease. Applying state-of-the-art technology, we identified effector DN T cells as major contributors to pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in the skin of patients with psoriasis. After the definition of T cell phenotypes within the DN T cell compartment, we are aiming to i) define signature cytokine expression patterns in effector DN T cells in health and disease, and ii) determine molecular mechanisms orchestrating DN T cell lineage determination.

Systemic lupus erythematosus

SLE is a largely T cell-mediated autoimmune disorder that can affect most organs of the human body. In my laboratory, we are investigating transcription factor networks contributing to epigenetic alterations and effector T cell phenotype generation in SLE. We hope that our work will contribute to novel therapeutic options targeting pathological effector T cell responses in SLE and other autoimmune disorders.

Research Grants

Systematic Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis

FAIR (FUNDING AUTO IMMUNE RESEARCH) (UK)

July 2018 - December 2019

Genetic factors in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE): future guides for individualized treatment

LUPUS UK (UK)

August 2018 - June 2021

Molecular mechanisms of CNO

MICHAEL DAVIE RESEARCH FOUNDATION (UK)

October 2018 - September 2021

Investigating Serum Protein Expression in Patients with Juvenile Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

FAIR (FUNDING AUTO IMMUNE RESEARCH) (UK)

July 2018 - December 2019

Research Collaborations

Paul McNamara

Internal

Molecular mechanisms of hyperinflammation in paediatric and adult COVID-19

Neill Liptrott

Internal

Molecular mechanisms of hyperinflammation in paediatric and adult COVID-19

Professor Polly Ferguson

External: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Projects on CNO pathophysiology and treatment

Professor Esteban Ballestar, PhD

External: Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Barcelona, Spain

Epigenetic events in SLE and psoriasis

Professor George Tsokos, MD

External: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvar Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Epigenetic mechanisms in SLE

Professor Angela Roesen-Wolff, MD, PhD

External: Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Involvement of aberrant inflammasome activation in autoinflammatory conditions

PD Sigrun Hofmann, MD, PhD

External: Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Involvement of aberrant inflammasome activation in CNO; mechanisms of effector T cell generation in psoriasis