Investigating the regulation of neutrophil protein synthesis and its role in inflammation to identify therapies for inflammatory lung disease


  • Dr Emily Watts

    University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Project summary

Neutrophils are white blood cells which act early in the immune response. They are essential in fighting infections but they can also become dysfunctional, causing serious tissue injury. In the lung this can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which can lead to respiratory failure and death. Neutrophils continue to make proteins upon arrival in the lung. I will investigate how neutrophils control which proteins are made and if, through altering protein production, we can limit harmful neutrophil behaviour. I will map the repertoire of genes and proteins generated by neutrophils under various conditions to determine which factors in the cell's environment and which signalling pathways within the cell regulate these processes. I will then investigate how using drugs to target the pathways involved can change the consequences of lung inflammation. I hope to identify new ways to treat neutrophil driven lung diseases, such as ARDS, without compromising immunity.