ESR09 – Chantal Duurland

ESR 9 Title: Researcher (ESR9): Validation and development of predictive immunology tools for clinical outcomes in childhood autoimmunity
Research Objectives:
Description of work: This student will join an active research program on development of predictive biomarkers for use in childhood arthritis (called JIA). The Wedderburn group has wide expertise in T cell immunology and has a large ongoing cohort study about response to medication in JIA. As part of this study, transcriptional , functional and genome wide genotyping data are available on a large number of children. The pilot data indicate several key T cell signalling pathways including TGFb signalling that are altered by treatment of the arthritis.In this project the ESR will have the chance work on several closely linked aspects of immunology in JIA which will ultimately translate into use as markers of disease course / severity / prognosis, and or as biomarkers with which to predict response to treatment and drugs. The exact focus will be allowed to develop according to the student’s own strengths and choices. Options will include to develop the work on predictors of response to MTX in JIA (Childhood Arthritis Response to Medication Study or CHARMS), with a focus on the signalling pathways altered by MTX, or to undertake a genotype: phenotype analysis of top genetic ‘hits’ identified to date from the GWAS study. An alternative will be to focus on more basic aspects of control of the balance between T regulatory and Th17 cells, and their impact on disease phenotype.Personal Information Sheet ESR09 – Chantal DuurlandPresentation ESR09 Chantal Duurland