Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases
The immune system evolved largely to protect the body from infectious agents. A sophisticated immune system means that humans can fight infection more effectively. However, it also increases the risk malfunctions that cause damaging inflammation. These malfunctions include autoimmune diseases, where the immune system reacts against oneself. Autoimmune diseases affect more than 5% of the population - and other chronic inflammatory diseases are equally important in human health and disease.
Researchers in the Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases theme at the School of Clinical Sciences work in critical areas in both infectious diseases and damaging inflammation. Our research is in areas as diverse as the basic biology of health and disease, through to helping people with disease manage their illnesses better and be treated with better and safer treatments. See more about the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases.
We work on autoimmune diseases, including vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Causes of liver, kidney and lung scarring and loss of function are a focus, as are how infection and inflammation influence white blood cells and their movements into tissues. At a more basic level, researchers in the theme work on how inflammatory processes may be linked to cancer, as well as the protective and damaging effects of the first responders to infection and inflammation.