Molecular Pathways of Ocular Inflammatory Disease
Molecular Pathways of Ocular Inflammatory Disease - Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of Ocular Inflammation
Duration of Study in the UK
2 years, 1 months, 8 days
Ocular inflammatory disease is a broad term for a diverse group of infectious and immune mediated diseases which lead to inflammation in various parts of the eye. Ocular inflammation affects about 1 in 5000 individuals and is the third leading cause of blindness in the western world. Within this umbrella, uveitis is an important and common subtype of ocular inflammation. The term uveitis refers to inflammation of the uveal tract, which is comprised of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. Uveitis may be infectious or non-infectious, and is usually classified anatomically into anterior, intermediate and posterior uveitis. Of these anterior uveitis is the most common, with a prevalence of nearly 50 per 100,000 people, and has considerable morbidity, causing eye pain and reduction in vision. It is common in working age people, and therefore has marked economic impact. Anterior uveitis may also be associated with a group of autoimmune diseases called the seronegative spondyloarthropathies, which includes ankylosing spondylitis.
We aim to utilise tissue and eye fluid specimens from patients with different forms of uveitis and ocular inflammatory disease to identify the specific cell types and proteins that are present during active inflammation. This would be done using various laboratory techniques, including flow cytometry, protein analysis, and single-cell RNA sequencing. RNA is the messenger genetic code cells use to make protein. Using this cutting-edge technique it is possible to identify types of cells, that may only be present in very small numbers, and take a snapshot of their activity during inflammation. Using a combination of these techniques we hope to identify underlying causes of inflammation, which are not always known, as well as potential molecular targets for new therapies.
London - City & East Research Ethics Committee
Date of REC Opinion
12 Aug 2022
Further Information Favourable Opinion