Deriving T cell gene-expression signatures of primary sclerosing cholangitis

Awarded to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Dr Elizabeth Goode, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow

The total grant awarded is £24,480

Duration of award: 08 January 2018 to 08 January 2019

Award details: Deriving T cell gene-expression signatures of primary sclerosing cholangitis

Summary

Studies into the genetics of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) have identified many genetic mutations that are associated with PSC risk.  However, it has been difficult to identify which specific genes these mutations affect.  This is because the mutations often occur in regions of DNA which do not directly code for genes, but may act at a distance to affect the level or activity of a gene.  This has therefore restricted our ability to interpret the biological importance of genetic mutations, which is essential for identifying new drug targets.  

Our study aims to identify genes important in PSC by analysing how known genetic mutations affect the expression of nearby genes in immune cells, thus implicating those genes in the biology of PSC. We will analyse immune cells from the the blood of patients with PSC-IBD in comparison with IBD controls. Using this information we aim to identify genes and proteins unique to PSC, that can be targeted by pharmaceutical companies to develop new treatments in PSC.