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Dr Andrew Smith
Appointment
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Microbial Diseases
  • Eastman Dental Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Biography

Senior Lecturer in Innate Immunity

Microbial Diseases, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, UK        

2013 to present

 

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Molecular Medicine, Division of Medicine, University College London, UK

2005 to 2013

 

Postdoctoral Researcher

Leukocyte Adhesion Laboratory, London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, London, UK     

2001 to 2005

 

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dermatopharmacology, Southampton University, Hampshire, UK                          

1998 to 2000

 

Research Summary

Andrew Smith’s research is focused on understanding the innate immune response within healthy and diseased tissue. He has ongoing collaborative projects investigating the role the innate immune system plays in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, orofacial granulomatosis, lichen planus and chronic granulomatous disease.


The group currently has two major overlapping areas of interest-

A.     Macrophage immune response in health and disease

A major area of interest involves understanding how cytokines are induced, sorted, packaged and trafficked in immune cells. Abnormalities in cytokine secretion have been associated with numerous human diseases, but the specific mechanisms responsible are still unclear. The current research involves a mixture of genetic analysis, whole genome transcriptomic profiling, in vivo and in vitro modelling of human disease and mass spectrometry based shotgun proteomics. Numerous collaborations with leading experts in cell biology, proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics have been established to unravel the complex world of cytokine secretion and inflammatory disease.

B.      The role of the epithelium in mucosal inflammation

The interaction between epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract and the commensal microflora is of particular interest to the group. Transcriptomic profiling of colonic mucosal tissue has revealed changes in the epithelial integrity associated with ulcerative colitis. These findings have resulted in a number of current projects looking at the role of the colonic epithelium in regulating inflammation and disease.

 

The majority of the research is conducted in close association with the gastroenterology department at University College Hospital and the Eastman Dental Hospital. These interactions allow access to large and diverse cohorts of patients, greatly aiding our ability to study and understand human disease. In addition, industrial partnerships have been established to investigate the role of the immune response in inflammatory bowel disease.


Research Opportunities

There are currently projects available to investigate aspects of innate immunity, epithelial integrity, and oral / gastrointestinal disease. Potential MSc and PhD students and individuals suitable for personal fellowships should contact Andrew directly.

Academic Background
1998 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Immunochemistry University of Southampton
1995 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Leeds
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