My research is focused on the translational theme of inflammation, immune-responses and infection in cerebrovascular disease. Inflammation, infections and immune dysregulation influence both the risk and causation of stroke, and also have a significant impact on the outcome after a stroke. In particular, pneumonia complicates at least 10% of strokes and has a devastating effect on clinical outcomes, increasing the chances of death 3 fold. Targeting inflammation, immune responses and infections in this setting therefore offers exciting therapeutic opportunities to modify stroke risk and improve outcomes for patients.
I am interested in how inflammation and immune responses are altered prior to, and after stroke, and how these responses (and infections) might contribute to worse outcome. I am also interested in how we can more accurately diagnose pneumonia after stroke, better predict which patients are at risk of developing it, and improve care processes/ develop interventions to reduce the occurence of pneumonia.
My research includes experimental studies of respiratory tract infection and periodontal disease as translational infection paradigms in pre-clinical stroke (Professor Stuart Allan, Dr Cath Lawrence and Dr John Grainger). It also includes wide-ranging clinical studies of inflammatory/immune diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in stroke and infection; plus intervention studies to reduce harmful inflammation produced after stroke, and interventions to reduce the risk of pneumonia by targeting oral biofilm and oro-pharyngeal aspiration.