Russell Wallis's Research Interests

Russell Wallis joined the Department in December 2005 after almost ten years working in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Oxford, initially in the Glycobiology Institute with Kurt Drickamer and latterly in the MRC Immunochemistry Unit with Ken Reid and Bob Sim.  He is a biochemist interested in understanding the molecular changes that initiate activation of the classical and lectin pathways of complement activation.  These reaction cascades are directly responsible for neutralisation of pathogens and clearance of apoptotic cells. They also play key roles in stimulating and directing fundamental immunological processes, including phagocytosis, cell adhesion, modulation of immune cell function, and maintenance of immune tolerance, as well as providing important bridges between innate and adaptive immunity.

Specific interests include characterising the interactions between components that trigger complement activation, establishing the molecular basis of immunodeficiencies caused by mutations in key complement proteins and understanding the complex regulatory mechanisms that prevent complement from destroying host cells.

Initiating complexes of the classical and lectin pathways of complement

Initiating complexes of the Classical and Lectin pathways of Complement. C1q of the classical pathway and MBL and ficolins of the lectin pathway recognize pathogens and trigger activation of associated-serine proteases (C1rs or MASPs) to initiate the complement cascade.

Collaborators include Professor Wilhelm Schwaeble (3I’s Leicester), Professor Peter Moody (Biochemistry, Leicester), Professor Ken Reid (Oxford), Professor Bob Sim (Oxford), Professor Steven Perkins (UCL, London) and Dr Dan Mitchell (Warwick).  Russell was awarded an RCUK Fellowship, joint with Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, in September 2006.  He is currently funded by grants from the Research Councils UK, MRC and Wellcome Trust




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