5.2 million to improve understanding of ageing immune system

A team of researchers from the University of Warwick, working with the University of Manchester, have been awarded 5.2 million to investigate our immune response and how it is affected by ageing.

The grant is part of BBSRC ’s Strategic Longer and Larger Awards scheme, which give world-leading teams the time and resources to address areas of key strategic importance.

The research focuses on a signalling system called ‘NF-kappaB’ which plays a key role in regulating how our immune system responds to diseases.

Incorrect regulation of NF-kappaB has been linked to cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, viral infection, and improper immune development.

The University of Warwick team, led by David Rand, Director of the Warwick Systems Biology Centre, will work on the mathematics and theory necessary to understand this complex area.

He said: “This system is one of the most important stress sensors in our cells.

“Because it is so complex and dynamic, understanding it requires a systems biology approach with experimentalists and mathematicians working together.

“The Warwick team will be dealing with the mathematical side where we will be developing models and analysing data to help predict important aspects of healthy ageing.”