Dr Julia Ellyard
Autoimmune diseases affect over 5 per cent of the population and are amongst the leading causes of mortality in young and middle aged women. Despite this, the causes of autoimmune disease remain poorly defined and there are no cures. My research focuses on understanding how genetic variants from autoimmune patients affect immune cell function to break tolerance and cause autoimmune diseases such as lupus. I am particularly interested in the role cytokine play in the development of autoimmunity. Cytokines are dysregulated in many autoimmune diseases and cytokines or cytokine receptors are also the target of many precision therapies. We aim to use mouse models and human patient samples to understand how genetic variants in receptor signalling pathways contribute to cytokine regulation and disease pathogenesis, with the hope this may lead to identification or application of more targeted patient therapies.