Exploring novel approaches to the treatment of COVID and viral-induced immunopathology

Therapeutics Team

Ravi Gupta

Ravi Gupta is an infectious diseases clinician with specific focus on HIV. His training includes public health and molecular virology and aims to deploy this in pursuit of transformative new knowledge.

His research interests include the study of host-pathogen interactions, particularly with regard to HIV replication in macrophages and how the virus avoids innate immune molecules. He also has a long standing research interest in HIV drug resistance and reservoirs, now extending to translational work in the area of remission and cure. He is extending this experience in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to test the role of macrophages in COVID-19 disease and whether certain anti-inflammatory drugs can reverse virus induced immune pathology.

Andres Floto

Andres Floto is Professor of Respiratory Biology at the University of Cambridge, a Wellcome Trust Investigator, and Research Director of the Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

His research is focused on understanding pathogen biology and how inflammation is regulated and sometimes subverted during infection. He is exploring how nebulised soluble ACE2 could be deployed therapeutically or prophylactically in COVID19, and whether other critical components of virus entry might be potential drug targets.

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Arthur Kaser

We investigate the fundamental biology of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two inflammatory bowel diseases that emerge from complex gene – environment interaction.

By studying an orphan risk gene linked to Crohn’s, leprosy and Still’s disease, we recently discovered an unprecedented purine enzyme that determines the pace of cellular energy metabolism – rendering immunometabolism an important focus of our group.

Another major interest of ours is the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and its interplay with autophagy.

Eoin McKinney

Eoin McKinney is a University Lecturer in Renal medicine at the University of Cambridge and an honorary consultant in nephrology and transplantation, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr McKinney’s research explores the interface between immune responses to infection and those driving inflammatory pathology applying machine learning methods to the integration of multiomics data, building interpretable predictive models for rapid translation into clinical practice while informing underlying disease biology and identifying novel therapeutic strategies.

Alex Taylor

In nature, genetic material is composed of DNA or, as is the case in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a similar chemical, RNA. In the laboratory, it is possible to use synthetic alternatives to DNA & RNA, called “Xeno Nucleic Acids (XNAs)” to engineer molecules for precision medicine. We recently discovered that strands of XNA could be evolved in the test tube to form artificial enzymes capable of recognising and cutting specific sequences of RNA. In principle, such “XNAzymes” could be re-targeted to emerging threats and rapidly synthesised for therapy.

My lab is exploring their application to a variety of disease-associated RNAs, including the genome of SARS-CoV-2.

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David Jayne

Professor Jayne works on the clinical evaluation of novel immunotherapeutics in vasculitis, lupus and immune-mediated renal disease. Co-ordination of international clinical research vasculitis network (EUVAS) and multi-centre randomised controlled trials.

Development of clinical trial methodology, management guidelines and implementation of the best clinical practice. Support of genetic, gene expression and biomarker studies.

PI for the TACTIC trial in COVID19.

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