Immune tolerance

Our immune system has the difficult task of defending the body against potential threats while recognising and not attacking host molecules or harmless signals from the environment. In autoimmune diseases, this tightly controlled system breaks down and the immune system targets the body’s own organs and tissues.

In some cases, the body may also inappropriately attack beneficial bacteria or harmless allergens. We aim to understand how the immune system is kept under control to keep a state of tolerance.

Autoimmune and chronic inflammaotry diseases are increasingly common with examples include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriasis, myositis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and inflammatory bowel disease.

By working closely with basic scientists, immunologists and a variety of clinical disciplines, we aim to increase our understanding of how immune dysregulation causes disease so that scientific discoveries can be translated into the clinic to ultimately improve the management of these conditions.




Dr Matthew Hepworth

Principal investigators