Dr Anneliese Speak

Senior Scientific Manager

I am interested in how alterations in genes cause developmental or functional abnormalities in the immune system with a current focus on cancer immunology.

My work aims to further uncover the interaction between the immune system and developing tumours, with a long-term view to enable this interaction to be manipulated for the development of new therapies. This involves polychromatic flow cytometry (analysis and sorting), DNA and RNA sequencing plus in vitro and in vivo models to understand the function of genes in the immune system. I currently lead two projects funded through Open Targets investigating the interaction between immune cells and tumours. One has a focus on Natural Killer cells and their receptors and the other how the tumour microenvironment can affect T cells using CRISPR-based genetic screens.

Previously while at the Sanger Institute, I managed a small team responsible for high-throughput immunophenotyping of knockout mice as part of mouse pipelines and was involved with the The Infection and Immunity Immunophenotyping (3i) consortium.

As a research associate at the University of Southern California I was investigating the link between viral infections, autophagy and the development of asthma.

Prior to this my first postdoctoral position and my DPhil studies were performed at Oxford University. Here I studied the impact of lysosomal storage in Niemman-Pick type C disease patients on the development and function of Natural Killer cells and invariant Natural Killer T cells. During this time I performed biomarker studies on blood samples from various lysosomal storage disorder patients from around the world. Using various biochemical techniques my DPhil studies involved invariant Natural Killer T cell ligands.

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