Epithelial-immune interactions underlying development and resolution of allergic airway inflammation and remodelling influence of genes and environment

Year of award: 2015


  • Prof Clare Lloyd

    Imperial College London

Project summary

The lung is held in balance by a complex series of interactions between cells of the immune system, which maintain the body's defence against infection, and the lung epithelium, which is the cellular barrier that protects the lung from the external environment. The cells that normally reside in the airways have specialised properties that enable them to respond quickly and efficiently to infectious agents and ignore harmless particles such as dust and pollens, which we inhale with every breath. In people with asthma, it is thought that the influence of genetic background and external environmental pressures, such as infection or pollution, work to disturb this balance, resulting in harmful inflammatory reactions in the lungs.

We will use a combination of mouse models and cells isolated from the lungs of adults and children with asthma to identify cellular and molecular interactions in the lung. We will develop novel microscopy methods to visualise communications between inflammatory and structural cells in the lung and profile the genes that these cells express.

This study will further our understanding of the cellular and molecular interactions occurring in the lungs during health and disease and identify targets for novel asthma therapies.