DPhil student in Clinical Medicine
Elucidating the role of tissue-resident immune cells in alveolar epithelial regeneration and lung fibrosis
The lung is a distinct organ in terms of regeneration and self-renewal. In the steady-state, cell turnover is low, but after injury, it possesses tremendous ability to regrow its epithelium - a whole new lung segment can regenerate after partial pneumonectomy. Yet, in end-stage lung disease including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), regeneration is rare or occurs abnormally. The project examines the role of tissue-resident immune cells (innate lymphoid cells, Tregs, resident alveolar macrophages) in maintaining steady-state quiescence and coordinating appropriate repair after injury of the alveolar epithelium. The work will focus on the use of improved bleomycin murine model to examine the in vivo changes in tissue-resident immune cells in the lungs, its co-localization with regenerating alveolar epithelium and alveolar progenitor cells during injury and regeneration/repair. Findings will be tested in the appropriate transgenic mice and human diseased lungs.