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Prof Tony Segal
The Rayne Building, Centre for Molecular Medicine
5 University Street
Tel: 0044 20 7679 6175
Fax: 0044 20 7679 0967
  • Charles Dent Professor of Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Research Summary
The primary research purpose of this group is to understand the way in which the "professional" phagocytic cells, neutrophils, monocyte/macrophages and eosinophils, kill and digest invading microbes. 1. A central interest is the NADPH oxidase, a system responsible for the generation of superoxide and other oxygen radicals. This work involves investigation of: the flavocytochrome b electron transport chain; signal transduction mechanisms responsible for activation of superoxide production; interaction of components of the NADPH oxidase with the cytoskeleton. 2. The inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic inflammatory conditions of unknown cause which primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract. We have shown that, counter-intuitively, the acute inflammatory response and neutrophil accumulation are defective in Crohn's disease. Identification of this major phenotypic abnormality provides a significant breakthrough in understanding the pathological events that cause Crohn's disease. We are investigating how this might predispose to chronic bowel inflammation through delayed clearance of bowel bacteria penetrating the mucosa using the following approaches: injection of 32P-labelled, heat - killed E. coli into the subcutaneous tissues of the forearm, to measure clearance as the removal of radioactivity; microarray analysis of global gene transcription profiles of monocyte/macrophages; quantitation of secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines from monocyte/macrophages. In line with the genetic evidence in the literature, preliminary studies in ulcerative colitis have identified a completely different abnormality in which the resolution of acute inflammation is delayed; these findings are currently under investigation.
Teaching Summary
Director of the UCL MBPhD programme
Academic Background
1974 MD Doctor of Medicine – Medicine University of Cape Town
1971 MRCP Member of the Royal College of Physicians – Clinical Medicine Royal College of Physicians
1970 FRCS Fellow Of The Royal College Of Surgeons – Surgery Royal College of Surgeons of England
1967 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine University of Cape Town
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