Oxygen and the immune response
Prof Randall Johnson
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Low oxygen levels in the tissues (hypoxia) can suppress some aspects of the immune response, while at the same time it can induce and accentuate other important functions of the immune cells. The puzzling duality of hypoxia's effects on immunity are both challenging to investigate and important to understand.
We will investigate the role of oxygen sensing in the immune system and how changes in the amount of oxygen available in the tissues act on immune responses to infections and cancer.
An exploration of the immune response to hypoxia may allow us to alleviate unhelpful immune suppression and activate specific immune responses that could increase the potency of anti-cancer immune therapies.