The Immunity scales – how obesity weighs in on immunity

The Immunity scales – how obesity weighs in on immunity

Dr James Thaventhiran; MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge

Dr. Thaventhiran has worked as a clinical academic at Addenbrooke's Hospital since 2014. He co-led the NIHR BRIDGE programme that investigated the role of whole genome sequencing in patients with suspected monogenic disorders of immune dysregulation. This programme identified novel genetic diseases, including the haploinsufficiency's SOCS1, PTPN2 and IVNS1ABP. He led the project defining the human phenotype of IL6R deficiency. This uncovered the surprising finding that IL-6 signalling protects against the development of atopy. Over the COVID-19 pandemic, his lab has been studying fundamental immunological mechanisms related to vaccine failure, which has uncovered a hitherto.

Our investigations into the phenotype of human IL-6 receptor deficiency have unearthed unexpected insights relating to the pathologies governed by this particular pathway. Of particular pertinence to global public health is the world health organisation (WHO) defined epidemic of obesity, a condition intricately linked with the dysregulation of the IL-6 pathway. Our work has probed the influence of obesity on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination responses, revealing a notable impairment that converges with our ongoing research on IL-6 signalling.

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