Dr Sarah Dimeloe recently joined the University of Birmingham to further her research into the metabolism of immune cells in health and disease, which has now received a significant boost, in the form of a highly sought-after research grant from the European Commission.
Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships aim to support the mobility of researchers between different institutions in Europe, such that they can learn new techniques and develop skills to stimulate their research. In Dr Dimeloe’s case, she is returning to the UK after spending four years as a post-doctoral research fellow in Basel, Switzerland. There, she learnt how to measure the dynamic changes in metabolism that occur in immune cells during an immune response, to define the molecular pathways involved and, importantly, how these changes underpin the role of immune cells in clearing infections and cancers.
Dr Dimeloe has now decided to join the University of Birmingham – where she works between the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research – to develop her research further by learning high-resolution, state-of-the-art techniques available at UoB to investigate metabolism in cells. Specifically, she will employ stable isotopically labelled forms of key nutrients such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, whose metabolism will be assessed by mass spectrometry.
Dr Dimeloe will apply these techniques to ask questions about how normal metabolic functions of immune cells are altered in different disease states where the immune system doesn’t work as it should. She will work closely together with Dr Daniel Tennant – her mentor for the fellowship and an expert on the metabolism of cancer cells – to learn these techniques and apply them to the immune system.
“I’m really excited to start working with experts at the University of Birmingham, to learn new techniques to apply to my research and hopefully uncover more about the role of the immune system in health and disease,” Dr Sarah Dimeloe.