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Biomedical Research Centre searches for immunological biomarkers
Date:10/15/2009

Persistent inflammation and the activation of the immune system is the key pathological mechanism affecting many long-term conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease and is the predominant mechanism underlying organ transplant rejection. But the molecular and cellular processes triggering these inflammatory and immune responses remain little understood. A group of London-based researchers hope that by extending understanding of the biological processes, they will be able to identify 'biomarkers' in the tissue and blood, which in future could be used to diagnose these conditions, to predict how they will develop and how an individual will respond to treatment.

The 500,000 research programme is being carried out at National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, working in partnership with King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Frank Nestle, Mary Dunhill Chair of Cutaneous Medicine and Immunotherapy at King's College London, explains: "We want to test the theory that there are common immunological pathways underlying many chronic inflammatory diseases and that these could serve as valuable biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic purposes."

Key to the success of this research programme is the Biomedical Research Centre's immune monitoring core, which consists of cutting-edge high throughput flow cytometric analysis and flow sorting equipment as well as multiplex cytokine analysis equipment. This technology enables researchers to analyse events within particular cell types involved in the body's immune response, such as T cells and dendritic cells, in minute detail with statistical accuracy.

In addition, the Centre's strategic agreement with BD Biosciences, a segment of BD, a lead
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Contact: Andrea Ttofa
andrea.ttofa@gstt.nhs.uk
44-020-718-85577
King's College London
Source:Eurekalert

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