Matthias Friedrich was an Oxford-Janssen Fellow in the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences). Here he discusses his experience and aspirations for the future of his research.
What is your research background?
For the last 10 years, my main interest was studying the pathogenesis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) such as inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis. In particular, I investigated how cytokine networks promote pro-inflammatory functions of non-immune cells such as fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Trained as a biochemist, I mostly applied a panel of molecular and cellular biology techniques to carry out this research during my doctoral studies. Later during my Postdoc, I extended this toolkit to gain expertise in multi-omic profiling down to single-cell resolution, and in the bioinformatics analysis of these data.
What are you researching now?
Cartograpghy is profiling multiple IMIDs to identify cellular and molecular therapeutic targets. Within that initiative, I am focussing on rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. My responsibilities as an Oxford-Janssen fellow include the collection and profiling of patient samples, designing pre-clinical assay, and analysing and interpreting the multi-omic data generated within the initiative.
What are your aspirations for the future of this research ?
Since my doctoral studies, my passion has always been conducting translational research that benefits the patient. The Oxford-Janssen fellowship represents a unique opportunity to work at the interface between academia and industry, which I think is crucial to efficiently deliver improved medicines. I am certainly committed to continue on this path in the future, aiming to dissect mechanisms of inflammation across diseases, tissues and cell types in order to provide a rationale for therapeutic drug design.