'SARS CoV-2 immune responses in immunocompromised patients' and 'Regulatory B cells – potential for immunotherapy'

Sushma Shankar is an academic transplant surgeon in Oxford, undertaking research within the Translational Research Immunology Group (TRIG). Her work focuses on the roles of human B regulatory cells (Breg) in both health and disease. Breg have been shown to be protective in solid organ transplantation and autoimmune disease, whilst promoting disease progression in conditions such as infection and cancer.

Sushma began her surgical and scientific training in Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow. She completed her DPhil under the supervision of Kathryn Wood, developing novel methods to generate human Breg. These discoveries form the basis of Sushma’s post-doctoral research as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer, to develop Breg cellular therapies and identify new therapeutic targets

During the pandemic, Sushma refocused her research to improve the understanding of immune responses to SAR-CoV-2 infection and vaccination in immunocompromised patients. This led to a national collaboration which informed government policy on vaccine prioritisation in vulnerable patient cohorts. Her work within TRIG has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, NIHR, Royal College of Surgeons, Kidney Research UK, the Oxford Transplant Foundation and the Oxfordshire Healthcare Research Committee.

Please email Louise King (louse.king@nds.ox.ac.uk) if you would like to attend.