Professor Anne O'Garra FMedSci FRS
Anne O’Garra studies the control of immune responses effected by cell–cell interactions and proteins known as cytokines. Anne first discovered that the cytokine interleukin-10 suppresses antigen presentation and limits production of inflammation-promoting cytokines by the immune system’s dendritic cells and macrophages. She discovered that dendritic cells produce interleukin-12, which mobilises T cells to fight intracellular pathogens. Although the balance between suppression by interleukin-10 and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines is critical for preventing host damage, it can also lead to chronic infection.
Using a transcriptomic approach Anne recently uncovered pathways underlying the immune response in tuberculosis, revealing mechanisms of pathogenesis and potential approaches for improved diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Consequently, Anne’s work has the potential to open up new preventative and therapeutic treatments for inflammatory and infectious diseases, including tuberculosis.
In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society, Anne was also elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a Member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization.
Associate Research Director, The Francis Crick Institute
Head, Laboratory of Immunoregulation and Infection, The Francis Crick Institute
Interests and expertise