Immunotherapy and Immunomodulation
Section Lead: Dr Wael Houssen
This section forms the core of the translatable research in our research theme. We have expertise in using our research outputs to inform and generate commercially-important, patentable new knowledge. We engage with several industrial partners in impactful projects at all stages of drug or biomarker discovery and development. The research interests of this section cover a wide range of topics from anti-infectives to therapeutic interventions for cancer, ageing, auto-immune disorders, and key diseases that impact on human health.
Professor David Blackbourn My research interests concern the role of the immune system in disease pathogenesis and identifying interventions to ameliorate the immunological sequelae.
Dr Huan (Patrick) Cao deciphers the intricate language of sugars, revealing how cells convey their inner secrets to the outside, offering a fresh perspective on health and disease.
Dr Iain Greig My research involves all stages of drug discovery and development: from in silico screening and hit-to-lead, to IND-enabling through to early and late-stage clinical studies. Current programmes include the development of drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, depression and anxiety.
Dr Wael Houssen My research is focussed on engineering and recruiting enzymes to produce “next-generation therapeutics” that can disrupt protein-protein interactions e.g. the interaction between the corona virus spike protein and the human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 that preludes the virus entry to cells. These interactions are very challenging to traditional small molecule drugs and underlie many difficult-to-treat diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders and drug resistant microbial infections.
Dr Soumya Palliyil Employing phage display and recombinant antibody technologies, my work focusses on developing ultrasensitive biomarker detection tests and efficacious biologics-based therapies for human diseases. Keen interest in creating innovative products through academic research and currently involved in a spin-out formation and commercial development of anti-infective biologics as potential therapies to combat AMR. Also leading projects developing blood-based tests for early-stage diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, rapid quantification of biotoxins in shellfish and venom toxin detection kits.
Professor Andrew Porter My current research and commercial interests span a broad number of disciplines (oncology, inflammation, CNS, Infectious Diseases etc) but typically have at their heart the application of biologics for both diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to disease. I also enjoy the challenge of re-directing advances in medical technologies to help solve non-medical problems (eg environmental contamination). As Director of the Scottish Biologics Facility and Board Director on a number of Aberdeen University spin-outs I have a particular interest in seeing the asset value of research projects capture for the commercial benefit of Principle Investigators and the University.
Professor Mark Vickers Our group is developing new classes of antibody for the treatment of cancer, reagents for testing the function of the spleen and reagents for detecting oxidative damage.