- A study by the LeishGEN Consortium led by Professor Jenefer Blackwell involving 6,000 people living in areas of India and Brazil endemic for the potentially fatal parasitic disease known as visceral leishmaniasis has identified variation in a specific region of the major immune response locus, known to immunologists as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), as the single most important genetic risk factor for disease. The results are published online in the journal ‘Nature Genetics’ (http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.2518.html).
- Large-scale study uncovers a single major genetic risk factor for visceral leishmaniasis.
Scientists from India, Brazil, UK, Australia and USA worked together as the LeishGEN Consortium to undertake the study jointly with the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium.
For the teams in Australia, UK and USA, the results are being used in a targeted way in vaccine research to study the way the immune system interacts with the disease in mice. Professor Jenefer Blackwell, who led the LeishGEN Consortium first from the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research at the University of Cambridge and now from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research as a Winthrop Professor of the University of Western Australia, says: “Earlier genetic studies of visceral leishmaniasis in inbred mice allowed us to clearly demonstrate the importance of the MHC in regulating this disease. Now, major advances in human genetics, and the ability to compare the genomes of large numbers of people with and without the disease, have allowed us to identify the precise molecular basis to this MHC control in humans. This will have a major impact on refining research towards the ultimate goal of a vaccine.”
The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health.
- CIMR are awarded a major Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust funding state-of-the-art core facilities
- Professor David Lomas - collaboration between the University of Cambridge and GSK on antitrypsin deficiency
Autophagy: when ‘self-eating’ is good for you.
"New discoveries by Cambridge scientists about a molecular waste-disposal process that ‘eats’ bacteria are influencing the clinical management of cystic fibrosis, and could be the basis of innovative new treatments to fight off bacteria." Further details on the University of Cambridge website.
- Killer T-cell surrounds cancer in targeted attack On a mission to seek out and destroy cancer, an immune system T-cell launches an attack on a tumour cell in this new time-lapse movie.Captured by graduate student Alex Ritter, a member of Gillian Griffiths' group. Further details on the New Scientist Website Watch this and other videos at Under the Microscope on Vimeo. View the Reuters news video for this item.
- Research sheds light on cell mechanism which plays a role in such diseases as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s
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