Constance Finney, PhDPhD in immune-parasitology University of Edinburgh, UK
Areas of Research
Most studies have used/are using simplified infection models, which underestimate the complexity of developing effective treatments and vaccines for use in the ‘real world’. In particular, I am studying the impact of multiple low dose chronic infections (e.g. gastro-intestinal worms) as well as the impact of co-infections. My overall research goal is to discover how the host immune system interacts with pathogens in these settings to improve/develop effective treatments/vaccines. My research aims are to determine: Aim 1: How underlying chronic infections change immune responses to new infections. Aim 2: How diagnosis/prevention/treatment of diseases is/are affected by these changes. Aim 3: How to improve diagnosis/prevention/treatment of diseases in ‘real-world’ contexts. I am currently directly involved in three projects to determine: Project 1: How underlying chronic intestinal worm infections affect immune responses to incoming parasites. Project 2: How early responses to Toxoplasma gondii impact chronic infection. Project 3: How multiple low dose gastro-intestinal worm infections differ from single high dose laboratory models.
Working with this supervisor
We are always keen for new students in the lab. However, to get the best out of your graduate experience you will need: (1) a background in either immunology or parasitology. (2) previous research experience that extends beyond undergraduate practical labs (lab rotation, summer project etc). (3) patience and team spirit: our experiments are long and complex and require every lab member to work as part of a team, helping others with experiments. (4) a willingness to work with animals: we work closely with animals and most of our experiments are performed in vivo.
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