Key Immune Regulators in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
The theme of my PhD project revolves around the Key Immune Regulators in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA is a chronic autoimmune disease which can lead to severe loss of quality of life due to the resulting chronic arthritis. Current treatment regimens are not curative and only manage symptoms, and are also insufficient in patients who don’t respond to therapy. CD4 T cells have been strongly implicated in JIA. It is our intention to delve into the immune landscape of JIA and examine the dynamics of CD4+ T cell sub-populations and the role they play in driving chronic inflammation through transcriptomic and genomic analysis, including effector and regulatory mechanisms (and dysregulation). We would also like to discern the connection between epigenetic regulation and chronic inflammatory responses. The ultimate aim of my project is to identify potential druggable targets as well as monitoring tools (for disease activity). These can be implemented in therapy guidance to improve patient outcomes, exemplifying the bench to bedside approach.