Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship for Dr David Thomas

David Thomas has been awarded a Stage 2 Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Research Fellowship (CRCDF), for 'The role of Eros in Innate and Adaptive Immunity'.  which will give him five years funding to establish his own research group.  David is a College Lecturer in Bio-medical Sciences and a Direcetor of Studies in Physiology and Neuroscience.

Infectious diseases kill millions of people but our understanding of the immune response to infection remains incomplete.  David has characterised a gene, which he has named Eros (Essential for Reactive Oxygen Species).  Eros is essential for our immune system to kill harmful bacteria such as Salmonella.  This is because the protein encoded by the Eros gene is needed for the stability of a complex of proteins called NADPH oxidase, which generates chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and fungi: Without Eros, this process cannot occur.  David has found that Eros also controls other important processes within the immune system, unrelated to its effects on the NADPH oxidase.  He will be investigating exactly why Eros has these diverse effects by using biochemical techniques to dissect what happens in its absence in different cell types.  This will give new and important information about how the immune system defends itself against harmful pathogens. 

David is undertaking the work with Professor Ken Smith and Gordon Dougan (Department of Medicine, Cambridge) and Dr Simon Clare (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute).