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Newsletter Spring/Summer 2011 - Imperial College Faculty of ...

Newsletter Spring/Summer 2011 - Imperial College Faculty of ...

Infectious Diseases &

Infectious Diseases & Immunity NewsBiannual newsletter from the Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunity at the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial CollegeLondonResearch – challenging old paradigms in tuberculosis, Jon FriedlandHEALTH & SAFETY NEWSby Alan SimmIn tuberculosis, the long heldview has always been that theinfection results in caseousnecrosis and this in some waycauses tissues to collapseallowing cavity formation,spread of infection andcontribute to inflammatorytissue damage. In our group,we have been developing adifferent paradigm which wehave recently outlined in thejournal Science TranslationalMedicine. We agree thatimmune mediatedinflammatory tissue damagecauses both dissemination ofinfection and symptomatictissue destruction which maylead to mortality (approaching2 million people still die eachyear from TB and many morehave chronic complications oftissue damage during acuteinfection). However, wecannot accept that formationof a lipid rich caseousmaterial, although clearlycharacteristic of tuberculosis,can be seen to drive thisprocess. Rather, ourparadigm is that tissue damageresults from over-activity ofthe innate immune responseand in particular, activation ofa family of enzymes able todestroy all components of thematrix at neutral pH. Theseenzymes which I starteddeveloping an interest in 14years ago now, are calledmatrix metalloproteinases.Paul Elkington, now funded bya competitively awardedHEFCE new blood clinicalSenior Lecturer award, haslong been involved in theMMP story and for the lastfew years has been leading acomplex series of cellular andhuman investigationscombined with studies in aMMP-1 knock-in mousewhich have demonstratedneatly that MMP-1 turns thefibrotic murine TB model intoone more resembling humandisease with tissuedestruction and collagenbreakdown. Such animalwork is long and painstakingsince experiments last manymonths in tuberculosis butPaul‟s patience with themodel has been rewardedand the data is now presentfor all to see in the paper inJournal of ClinicalInvestigation highlightedbelow. Congratulations to allthose who have beeninvolved in the project butparticularly to Paul who tookon the murine model andkept the whole projectmoving in the right direction! Simm is covering for MartaArchanco until her return inOctober and has assumed her roleas Departmental Safety officer.Our Department has a high level ofHealth & Safety Awareness.Recently we‟ve conducted a reviewof our compliance with the AntiterrorismCrime & Securitylegislation including our holdings ofbacterial toxins. Our performanceis entirely compliant and we passedthe inspection without criticism.The recent ID Safety Committeemeeting raised a number ofimportant issues. We should all beaware that we are a target for casualcriminal activity and one should notleave valuables unattended inunsecured areas. We shall befocusing on laboratory tidiness as anarea for improvement. As a busyresearch department there is a lotof experimental work. This can leadto lab aisles being cluttered andbenches untidy. This presents notonly “trip” dangers but alsomicrobiological hazards asbenches/cabinets need to be cleanedand disinfected regularly to preventcross contamination of work.Deborah Chong is now theDepartmental Radiation ProtectionSupervisor for the department. Alanrecently organised a training courseon 3 H monitoring using the liquidscintillation counter. If you needtraining in the use of the LSC pleasesee Alan.

Infectious Diseases & Immunity NewsBiannual newsletter from the Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunity at the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial CollegeLondonThe Centre for Infection Prevention & ManagementAnnual Scientific Research Meeting, by Sara YadavThe National Centre forInfection Prevention andManagement held its 2ndAnnual Scientific ResearchMeeting on 16th June withfascinating presentations ontranslational research fromCentre researchers andcollaborators from theHealth Protection Agencyand elsewhere. The eventwas opened by the Rector,Professor Sir KeithO‟Nions, and concludedwith remarks from ClairePerry, Managing Director ofICHNT. Also in attendancewas Lord ChristopherTugendhat, Chairman of theTrust‟s Board of Directors,and Professor Sir TonyNewman-Taylor, Principal ofthe Faculty of Medicine. Theinternational significance ofCIPM was recognised byProfessor Didier Pittet,Director of the InfectionControl Programme,University of GenevaHospitals and WHOExternal Programme Lead(pictured right); he is amember of the CentreInternational Strategy Board.The event was closed by Claire Perry, Managing Director,Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.Clockwise from top: Members of the audience listen to one of the speakers at the ASRM; DidierPittet, Director of Infection Control, University of Geneva; CIPM Research Associate HemaSharma and ID PhD student Lucy Lamb from the department attended the ASRM,To learn more about CIPM’swork, take a look at thewebsite;

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