Prof Judi Allen

Judi Allen – Research summary

I am a Professor of Immunobiology with a particular interest in the type 2 immune response mounted to metazoan parasites (helminths).  My lab has had a long interest in the evolution of type 2 immunity and its relationship to tissue repair pathways.  We are particularly interested in macrophages that are activated in response to IL-4 and IL-13 and more broadly in understanding the central role of the IL-4 receptor in type 2 immunity.

The lab has a major focus on understanding macrophage dynamics during helminth infection.  We are investigating the contribution of recruited monocytes versus resident macrophages to the outcome of infection with helminths. For these studies we are using a murine model of filarial nematode infection, Litomosoides sigmodontis, and a GI nematode, Heligomosoides polygyrus. Both parasites induce IL-4 receptor dependent proliferation of the resident macrophage population.   In that context, we are also investigating the importance of macrophage proliferation and plasticity to infection outcome while also asking about the consequences of co-infection with helminths and microbial pathogens.

Another major focus of the lab is the chitinase-like protein (CLP) family that are induced during type 2 immunity, and are strongly associated with helminth infection, tissue injury and a variety of chronic diseases.  CLPs unexpectedly induce the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17 leading to a response that limits parasite numbers but at a cost of enhanced tissue injury. As infection progresses, CLPs contribute both to the induction of a protective type 2 immune response, and repair of the damaged tissue.   We are using Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, a lung migrating nematode, to investigate how CLPs perform such diverse tasks and reveal why they are so strongly associated with numerous pathological conditions. More fundamentally, the studies will provide key insight into how IL-17 pushes the type 2 response into a more pathological state, relevant to a range of chronic conditions.

My work is currently funded by the MRC-UK, Wellcome Trust and Asthma UK

Email: judi.allen@manchester.ac.uk | Tel: 0161 306 1347 | Twitter: @ProfJudiAllen

People

Judi Allen – People

Jesuthas Ajendra (Postdoc)
Brian Chan (Lab Manager)
Alistair Chenery (Postdoc)
Conor Finlay (Postdoc)
Rebecca Jeffery (MSc student)
James Parkinson (Research Assistant)
Stella Pearson (Technician)
Hannah Smith

Associated lab members

Tara Sutherland (Stepping Stone Fellow)
Dominik Rückerl (Stepping Stone Fellow)

People

Judi Allen – People

Jesuthas Ajendra (Postdoc)
Brian Chan (Lab Manager)
Alistair Chenery (Postdoc)
Conor Finlay (Postdoc)
Rebecca Jeffery (MSc student)
James Parkinson (Research Assistant)
Stella Pearson (Technician)
Hannah Smith

Associated lab members

Tara Sutherland (Stepping Stone Fellow)
Dominik Rückerl (Stepping Stone Fellow)

Biography

Judi Allen has a BSc from Bates College, Maine and obtained her PhD from University of California, Berkeley in 1991 following several years in the Biotech industry. She went to Imperial College, London for her postdoc and subsequently moved to Edinburgh, where she established her own group with an MRC Senior Fellowship in 1997. In 2005, Judi became Professor of Immunobiology and in 2016 joined the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester.

Publications

  • 2015 - Knipper, J. A., Willenborg, S., Brinckmann J., Bloch W., Maaß T., Wagener R., Krieg T, Sutherland, T.E., Munitz A., Rothenberg, M. E., Niehoff, A., Metzger M., Migge, T. Richardson, R., Hammerschmidt, M., Allen, J.E. & Eming, S. A. IL-4Rα signaling in myeloid cells controls collagen fibril assembly in skin repair. Immunity. 43:803-16
  • 2014 - TE Sutherland, N Logan, D Rückerl, AA Humbles, B Stockinger, RM Maizels & JE Allen. Chitinase-like proteins promote IL-17-mediated neutrophilia in a trade-off between nematode killing and host damage. Nature Immunology. 15:1116-25
  • 2014 - D Rückerl & JE Allen. Macrophage proliferation, provenance & plasticity in macroparasite infection. Immunuological Reviews.
  • 2014 - JEAllen & TE Sutherland. Host protective roles of type 2 immunity: parasite killing and tissue repair, flip sides of the same coin. Seminars in Immunology. 26(4):329-40.
  • 2014 - UM Gundra, NM Girgis, D Ruckerl, S Jenkins, LN Ward, ZD Kurtz, KE Wiens, U Basu-Roy, A Mansukhani, JE Allen* & P Loke* (*joint communicating). Alternatively activated macrophages derived from monocytes and tissue macrophages are phenotypically and functionally distinct. BLOOD. 123: e110-e122.
  • 2013 - SJ Jenkins, D Rückerl, J Hewitson, G Thomas, F Brombacher, RM Maizels, D Hume and JE Allen. IL-4 directly signals tissue resident macrophages to proliferate beyond homeostatic levels controlled by CSF-1. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 210(11):2477-91
  • 2013 - WC Gause, TA Wynn, and JE Allen. 2013. Type 2-immunity and wound healing: evolutionary refinement of adaptive immunity by helminths. Nature Reviews Immunology. 13(8):607-14.
  • 2012 – GD Thomas, D Rückerl, BH Maskrey, PD Whitfield, ML Blaxter, JE Allen. The biology of nematode- and IL4Rα-dependent murine macrophage polarization in vivo as defined by RNA-Seq and targeted lipidomics. Blood. 120(25):e93-e104
  • 2012 - Dominik Rückerl, Stephen J. Jenkins, Nouf N. Laqtom, Iain J. Gallagher, Tara E. Sutherland, Sheelagh Duncan, Amy H. Buck and Judith E. Allen. 2012. Induction of IL-4Rα-dependent microRNAs identifies PI3K/Akt signalling as essential for IL-4-driven murine macrophage proliferation in vivo. Blood. 120(11):2307-16. First in depth analysis of microRNAs in alternatively
  • 2011 – SJ Jenkins, D Rückerl, PC Cook, LH Jones, FD Finkelman, N van Rooijen, AS MacDonald & JE Allen. Local macrophage proliferation, rather than recruitment from the blood, is a signature of TH2 inflammation. Science, 332(6035), 1284-8.
  • 2005 – AL Graham, TJ Lamb, AF Read, & JE Allen. Malaria-filaria coinfection in mice makes malarial disease more severe unless filarial infection achieves patency. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 191(3), 410-21.