• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

S00046: Variation in blood immune cells

Institution: Wellcome Sanger Insitute

Investigator: Nicole Soranzo

The immune system is the body's first line of defence to infection. Some parts of the immune system act very fast, while other bits of the immune system react slower to but can build up a memory of previous infections. In some cases the immune system stop working, which is what causes diseases like arthritis or diabetes.

The activity of immune cells in the blood (and indeed, all cells in the body) is directed by messages encoded in the DNA in each cell. Small changes in the DNA between people can cause differences in how well the immune system works.

In this project we will obtain a small blood sample from volunteers and analyse whether and how small changes in the DNA in blood immune cells causes differences in how those immune cells work. By using lots of samples we will be able to understand how much variation there is between people.

This will help doctors and scientists understand diseases better, and help them to detect the early signs of disease earlier in South Asian and other populations.