Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mucosal Biology, Aherne lab at the Conway Institute, UCD
Details: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are chronic relapsing, remitting conditions of the gastrointestinal tract affecting approximately 21 per 100,000 individuals in Ireland, with rising incidence worldwide. Current therapies targeting the immune response revolutionised IBD treatment. However, up to 50% of patients fail to respond. Therefore, there is critical need for alternative treatment strategies. IBD is thought to occur due to intestinal barrier disruption leading to increased bacterial contact with the local immune system in a genetically predisposed individual. As part of this barrier the mucus gel layer (MGL) lining the intestinal surface plays a vital role in controlling tissue homeostasis, partly through bacterial exclusion. The MGL is more porous, allowing bacteria to contact the underlying tissue in all IBD patients but mechanisms supporting MGL function are poorly understood. We recently defined an important role for the secreted mucin Muc5ac in reducing intestinal damage in murine IBD (https://people.ucd.ie/carol.aherne). In this project, funded by an SFI Frontiers for the Future grant, we seek to investigate the role of adenosine signalling in mucin expression as a possible novel approach to protect the intestinal barrier. We will use in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo murine model systems unique to our group for these studies.
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Friday September 29th at 5pm.
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