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Irina Udalova

Professor of Molecular Immunology

Irina Udalova is a Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, NDORMS, University of Oxford.

She has a multi-disciplinary scientific background, based on a joint BSc/MSc degree in physics and mathematics and PhD in molecular biology from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Irina began her research career in Oxford in 1995, first as a Royal Society fellow and later on as a research scientist. In 2004 she joined the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology as a PI and began to build her research group "Genomics of Inflammation" focusing on the global role of key regulatory factors in setting up inflammation.

Research in her laboratory is focused on transcriptional regulators of myeloid cells. By combining the state-of-the art functional genomic approaches with classical molecular and cellular immunology the laboratory is unravelling the transcriptional circuitry that control myeloid cell phenotypes in inflammation. They aim to discover regulatory factors controlling common and microenvironment-specific states of myeloid cells and validate their expression and function in models of inflammation. Their work has led to discovery of IRF5 as a molecular switch for inflammatory macrophages that impacts on both acute and chronic inflammation via modulation of neutrophil infiltration and T-cell responses. They have also revealed that type III IFNs have anti-inflammatory properties and specifically target neutrophil migration and function. They now wish to understand the mechanisms of actions of these modulators.