Dr Carla Jones Bell
Janet Thorton Postdoctoral Fellow
I am a Janet Thornton Fellow (learn more about this returning to Science fellowship scheme) in the Genomics of Inflammation and Immunity research group, led by Dr Carl Anderson.
My research interests lie in understanding how genetic variants affect the function of different subsets of T helper cells and therefore how they contribute toward the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Genetic association studies from our group and others have identified over 200 risk loci for IBD. Several of these are in or near genes central to T cell function, reinforcing the concept that these cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of the disease. However, the exact mechanism by which these genetic variants affect T cell function remains remarkably unclear.
My current research project aims to generate risk variants knock-out T cells using CRISPR-Cas9 technology followed by evaluation of the transcriptome and function of these cells. This approach will allow us to determine the direct effect of many disease risk variants on different subsets of T cells and potentially identify new therapeutic disease targets and/or pathways.