Understanding the role of group 2 innate lymphoid cells and mucosal cytokines in urinary tract injury and infection
Broadly, my PhD research focused on understanding the role of the mammalian immune system in the urinary tract. During my PhD I investigated several immune factors known as cytokines in pre-clinical models of sterile kidney injury resulting from blood flow restriction known as ischemia reperfusion injury, in addition to models of ascending urinary tract infection known as pyelonephritis. My earlier work significantly increased our understanding of type II immunity in the kidney by utilising genetically modified mice which were deficient in specific immune cells, and animals which could be depleted of the same cells by introducing an experimental intervention. Recently, I found that increasing a specific cytokine prior to an experimental urinary tract infection worsened outcomes of pyelonephritis such as impaired kidney function (unpublished data). However, my most recent work demonstrated that a different cytokine was sufficient to prevent pyelonephritis when introduced after the infection (unpublished data).