Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi awarded Wellcome Investigator funding

4 October 2017

Dr Mahdad Noursadeghi of UCL's division of Infection and Immunity has received a Wellcome Investigator Award for his work on human immune response variation in tuberculosis.  Investigator Awards enable independent researchers with a compelling research vision to tackle the most important questions in science.  Dr Noursagedhi's summary of his plans is below.  Congratulations, Mahdad!

Tuberculosis remains a major threat to global health. Infection with the bacteria that causes this illness is widespread, but not everyone who is infected develops the disease and we do not understand why. I aim to test whether our individual risk of tuberculosis disease may be due to differences in the way our immune systems respond to infection and that these differences are genetically inherited.

We will measure the activity of immune genes at the site of a skin test for TB as a model for how the immune system functions at the site of real disease. We will then link differences in immune responses between people with the infection with differences in their genetic code and the likelihood of their infection progressing to disease. These studies will reveal how and why some people develop the disease while others control the infection.

The findings will help us target preventive therapies to those who need them most and to develop better vaccines or new treatment for TB aimed at improving immunity.