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New mouse model allows researchers to track immune cell behaviour during an immune response

24 May 2024

Researchers at the MRC Toxicology Unit have developed a new mouse model for tracking the behaviour of immune cells once an immune response is triggered. This could help scientists to understand how our immune system responds to different insults in more detail to develop new and improved immune therapies. Our body triggers...

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Gut microbiome remains stable after COVID-19 vaccination

5 March 2024

Our gut microbiome is home to a diverse mix of microorganisms that are delicately balanced to preserve many aspects of our health including digestion, immunity and even our mental wellbeing. There are known factors that can impact our microscopic companions such as diet, lifestyle, antibiotic use and environmental...

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"mRNA vaccines could be fine tuned": Latest research from Willis and Thaventhiran groups covered in national and international media

7 December 2023

Work published by Prof Anne Willis and Dr James Thaventhiran, alongside collaborators in Kent, Oxford and Liverpool, describing how mRNA therapeutics may cause an unintended immune response and need fine-tuning for the future was reported across multiple national and international media outlets. You can read the Unit's...

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Researchers redesign future mRNA therapeutics to prevent potentially harmful immune responses

6 December 2023

Researchers from the Willis and Thaventhiran labs have discovered that misreading of therapeutic mRNAs by the cell’s decoding machinery can cause an unintended immune response in the body. They have identified the sequence within the mRNA that causes this to occur and found a way to prevent ‘off-target’ immune responses to...

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The Mirror report discovery that could help tailor vaccinations for people in future

31 July 2023

The Mirror covered the latest exciting research from the Thaventhiran lab in collaboration with researchers across the University of Cambridge. Described as a "huge step forward" by Dr Miriam Stoppard, the discovery made by Unit researchers may explain why, even among vulnerable patient groups, some have better responses...

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‘Ageing’ immune cell levels could predict how well we respond to vaccines

27 June 2023

Researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit have identified a signature in the blood that could help predict how well an individual will respond to vaccines. The discovery, published today in the journal Nature Communications, may explain why, even among vulnerable patient groups, some individuals have better responses to...

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National papers and local radio cover obesity and vaccine response research

16 May 2023

Work published by Dr James Thaventhiran and collaborators in Cambridge and Edinburgh describing how obesity accelerates the loss of protection from COVID-19 vaccines was reported across national media outlets. Dr Thaventhiran was also interviewed about their findings on local radio. You can read the Unit's news article and...

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People with obesity lose immunity gained from COVID-19 vaccination more rapidly

11 May 2023

The protection offered by COVID-19 vaccination declines more rapidly in people with severe obesity compared to those with normal weight, researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit and collaborators within the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have found. The study suggests that people with obesity are likely to need...

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Obesity and COVID-19: when two pandemics collide

24 September 2022

Elderberries, flaxseeds, manuka honey, garlic and the juice of an orange. A recipe for a vampire-repelling poultice, perhaps? No, but these ingredients have all made their way from ancient folklore into current public consciousness as “immune-boosting superfoods”. The midst of a global infectious disease pandemic is a...

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Nature Communications featured article: Treatment of COVID-19 with remdesivir in the absence of humoral immunity: a case report

1 March 2021

A recently publised article from Dr. James Thaventhiran's group about the potential treatment effect of remedesvir in COVID-19 patients was chosen as a featured paper by Nature Communiactions. The scientific achivement is highlighted under the topic of "Microbiology and Infectious diseases" in the journal's January issue .

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