Professor Ye Htun Oo MBBS, PhD, FRCP

Ye Oo

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Professor of Autoimmune Liver Diseases and Translational Hepatology
Consultant Hepatologist
Academic Lead/Scientific Director- Birmingham Advanced Cell Therapy

Contact details

Address
Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research
Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Institute of Biomedical Research
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Ye is a Professor of Autoimmune liver diseases and Translational Hepatology at the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham and Consultant Hepatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he specialises in the management of autoimmune liver diseases, immune mediated liver injury and liver transplantation.

He currently holds Sir Jules Thorn Research Programme Award. Previously he secured Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Award and received Sir Frances Avery Jones Award from British Society of Gastroenterology.

Ye is the academic lead/scientific director for Birmingham Advanced Cell Therapy Facility. His team spearhead the bench to bedside regulatory T cells immunotherapy in autoimmune liver diseases. He also leads Birmingham European Reference Network Rare Liver.

His group basic science research aims to dissect the pathogenesis mechanism of autoimmune liver diseases, immune mediated and drug induced/check point inhibitors liver injury with TransOMICS approach, deep immune profiling and develop personalised and stratified therapies. His team develop and deliver translational GMP Regulatory T clinical trials in autoimmune liver diseases.

Qualifications

  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, 2017
  • PhD in Immunology, 2010
  • Member of Royal College of Physicians, 2000
  • MBBS with distinctions, 1995

Biography

Ye graduated in Medicine from Rangoon, Burma. He underwent general medical training in Scotland, Wales and Bournemouth followed by specialisation in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation at the West Midlands Deanery. In 2006 he obtained Medical Research Council clinical research training fellowship to undertake a PhD in the laboratory of Professor David Adams at the University of Birmingham. During his PhD he dissected the recruitment mechanism of regulatory T cells and developed isolation of GMP-grade regulatory T cells to apply as new therapy in autoimmune liver diseases and liver transplantation.

On completing his specialist medical training in General Medicine/Gastroenterology and Hepatology, he secured a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Award. Subsequently, he joined his great colleagues in the Liver Medicine clinical team at the Queen Elizabeth Liver Transplant Unit in Birmingham as a Consultant Hepatologist. The work during his MRC funded clinician scientist led to the first in autoimmune liver disease early phase trial on GMP Regulatory T cells homing to the human liver. In recognition of this work he was awarded with Sir Frances Avery Jones Medal from the British Society of Gastroenterology.

In 2019, Ye received Sir Jules Thorn Programme Grant Award to develop and deliver Regulatory T cells therapy in autoimmune liver disease. He also leads the UK drug induced liver injury immunology work stream with his team and AIH Immunology work.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Oo is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Hepatic immune tolerance
  • Dissecting pathogenesis and exploring causative factors of autoimmune liver diseases
  • Mechanism of drug induced liver injury
  • Developing new GMP cellular therapies in autoimmunity and transplantation
  • Gut – Liver axis immunology

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Professor Ye Oo directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Research

His research group focus on basic discovery science in autoimmune liver diseases, develop translational cellular therapy and practice precision medicine. Ye and his team explore the underlying immune balance in the early and late stage of autoimmune liver diseases. There is strong evidence suggesting that regulatory T cells are crucial in restoring immune tolerance. His team dissect intrahepatic immune cells cross talk in the context of microenvironment and develop novel assay. Our previous proof of concept clinical trial with GMP Treg (AUTUMN trial) demonstrated that Treg migrate to human liver. Thus, we have now refined our approach to develop and deliver the novel Treg immunotherapy programme in autoimmune liver diseases.

His team also dissect the immune predictors and mechanism of liver injury on Drug Induced Liver Injury especially on Check Points Inhibitors.

In collaboration with British Society of Immunology and College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Ye hosted Discovery to clinical applications of regulatory T cells in autoimmune liver diseases and transplantation in 2019.

Ye and his team also explore new immunological predictors with deep immune phenotype and OMIC profiles for patients’ stratification and developing and delivering personalised medicine.

He leads a supportive, dynamic, productive research team with collaboration across UK, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Australia and USA.

Clinical research activities

  • Centre for Rare Diseases Dedicated Autoimmune liver disease clinics
  • Specialist autoimmune hepatitis clinic at QE Hospital
  • Immune mediated liver injury clinic.
  • Post liver transplant clinics.

Current projects

Sir Jules Thorn Programme grant (2019-2024)

Naomi Richardson and Grace Wootton are developing and delivering GMP-regulatory T cell therapy for the devastating liver disease, Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), where the immune system attacks the liver leading to biliary tissue destruction, scarring and eventually liver failure. Currently there is no curative therapy in PBC. Pre-clinical studies have indicated that regulatory T cells can prevent or reverse autoimmune diseases, and this study will examine whether Treg therapy may offer a new cellular therapy and could lead to the development of a personalised approach to treating patients.

Trans Bio Line - Drug Induced Liver Injury Consortium Immunology (2020-2023)

Natalia Krajewska and Amber Bozward are dissecting the immune subsets of drug induced liver injury as immunological predictors in collaboration with Professor Aithal at Nottingham Digestive Centre. Ye is also a co-investigator on EASL check point inhibitor induced liver injury (CHILI) Registry Grant.

Medical Research Foundation Grant (2021-2024)

Scott Davies and Ye are dissecting Treg biology in autoimmune hepatitis in collaboration with his colleague, Dr Trivedi.

GSK collaborative work (2020-2022)

Amber (2021 STEM for Britain prize winner) and Ye are dissecting the single cells gene signatures in chronic liver diseases and normal livers in collaboration with GSK.

Juan Rhodes Fellows (2021-2024)

In collaboration with Professor Pietro Invernizzi in University of Milano, Ye hosts a Juan Rodes fellow, Dr Vincenzo Ronca to dissect the immune-pathogenesis mechanism of PBC.

In collaboration with Professor Makoto Miyara in Paris, he shares a Juan Rodes academic fellow, Mr Atif to dissect immunometabolism and epigenetics of regulatory T cells.

Children Liver Disease Foundation

In collaboration with Professor Deirdre Kelly and Professor Wraith, Ye supervise Dr Warner to explore paediatric autoimmune liver disease.

Australian Surgical Fellowship

In collaboration with Mr Perera, Ye supervise Mr Angus Hann to explore transplantation tolerance.

European Reference Network (ERN) RARE-LIVER Centre

Birmingham is a centre for ERN-Rare Liver and Ye leads ERN-Rare Liver programme on behalf of University of Birmingham and UHB NHS Foundation Trust.

MediMedBio collaborative work (2021-2023)

Rémi Fiancette and Ye explore the role of CPI in chronic liver diseases and liver cancer.

QEHB charity project grant (2020-2024)

Naomi, Grace and Amber are developing and delivering GMP-Treg trials in autoimmune liver diseases with the support from QEHB Charity on GMP equipment (MACs Quant Tyto)

UK-Autoimmune Hepatitis (UK-AIH) deep immunophenotyping

(NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration). In collaboration with Newcastle University, Birmingham is an immunology lead for UK-AIH

Other activities

  • Scientific Director – Advanced Cell Therapy Facility (2019-)
  • Royal College of Physician (London) Fellow
  • Royal College of Physician (Edinburgh) Member
  • BSG guidelines development member on autoimmune hepatitis
  • Editor – New Insights on Liver Transplant and Tolerance, Frontiers in Immunology
  • Editor – Liver Immunology (Frontiers in Immunology)
  • Editor –Canadian Liver journal
  • Trans Bio Line Drug Induced Liver Injury Immunology lead
  • International autoimmune hepatitis group member
  • BASL member
  • BSG member
  • EASL member
  • AASLD Autoimmune Special Interest Group member
  • BASL Autoimmune Special Interest Group member
  • UK-AIH Founding member &Scientific Committee member
  • ERN Rare Liver Lead – University of Birmingham and UHB NHS Foundation Trust

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Attard, JA, Osei-Bordom, D-C, Boteon, Y, Wallace, L, Ronca, V, Reynolds, G, Perera, MTPR, Oo, YH, Mergental, H, Mirza, DF & Afford, SC 2021, 'Ex situ Normothermic Split Liver Machine Perfusion: Protocol for Robust Comparative Controls in Liver Function Assessment Suitable for Evaluation of Novel Therapeutic Interventions in the Pre-clinical Setting', Frontiers in Surgery, vol. 8, 627332. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2021.627332

Olsen, K, Hodson, J, Ronca, V, Bozward, AG, Hayden, J, Wootton, G, Armstrong, M, Adams, DH, El‐sherif, O, Ferguson, J, Knox, E, Johnston, T, Thompson, F & Oo, YH 2021, 'Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis and Nonadherence to Medication Correlate With Premature Birth and Risk of Postpartum Flare', Hepatology Communications, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 1252-1264. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1714

Hartl, J, Miquel, R, Zachou, K, Wong, G, Asghar, A, Pape, S, Sebode, M, Peiseler, M, Zenouzi, R, Ehlken, H, Krech, T, Weiler-normann, C, Drenth, JPH, Oo, YH, Dalekos, GN, Heneghan, M, Schramm, C & Lohse, AW 2020, 'Features and outcome of AIH patients without elevation of IgG', JHEP Reports, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 100094. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2020.100094

Jeffery, HC, Hunter, S, Humphreys, EH, Bhogal, R, Wawman, RE, Birtwistle, J, Atif, M, Bagnal, CJ, Rodriguez Blanco, G, Richardson, N, Warner, S, Dunn, WB, Afford, SC, Adams, DH & Oo, YH 2019, 'Bidirectional Cross-Talk between Biliary Epithelium and Th17 Cells Promotes Local Th17 Expansion and Bile Duct Proliferation in Biliary Liver Diseases', Journal of Immunology, vol. 203, no. 5, pp. 1151-1159. https://doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1800455

Lutz, P, Jeffery, HC, Jones, N, Birtwistle, J, Kramer, B, Nattermann, J, Spengler, U, Strassburg, CP, Adams, DH & Oo, YH 2019, 'NK Cells in Ascites From Liver Disease Patients Display a Particular Phenotype and Take Part in Antibacterial Immune Response', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 10, 1838. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01838

Jeffery, HC, Braitch, MK, Bagnall, C, Hodson, J, Jeffery, LE, Wawman, RE, Wong, LL, Birtwistle, J, Bartlett, H, Lohse, AW, Hirschfield, GM, Dyson, J, Jones, D, Hubscher, SG, Klenerman, P, Adams, DH & Oo, YH 2018, 'Changes in natural killer cells and exhausted memory regulatory T Cells with corticosteroid therapy in acute autoimmune hepatitis', Hepatology Communications, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 421-436. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1163

Atif, M, Warner, S & Oo, YH 2018, 'Linking the gut and liver: crosstalk between regulatory T cells and mucosa-associated invariant T cells', Hepatology International, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 305-314. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12072-018-9882-x

Wawman, RE, Bartlett, H & Oo, YH 2018, 'Regulatory T Cell Metabolism in the Hepatic Microenvironment', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 8, 1889. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01889

Bhogal, R, Weston, C, Velduis, S, Henri GD, L, Reynolds, G, Davies, S, Luu, N-T, Alfaifi, M, Shepherd, E, Boteon, Y, Wallace, L, Oo, YH, Adams, D, Mirza, DF, Mergentel, H, Muirhead, G, Stephenson, B & Afford, S 2018, 'The ROS-Mitophagy Signalling Pathway regulates liver endothelial cell survival during ischaemia-reperfusion injury', Liver Transplantation. https://doi.org/10.1002/lt.25313

Davey, M, Willcox, C, Hunter, S, Kasatskaya, SA, Remmerswaal, EBM, Salim, M, Mohammed, F, Bemelman, FJ, Chudakov, DM, Oo, YH & Willcox, B 2018, 'The human Vδ2+ T-cell compartment comprises distinct innate-like Vγ9+ and adaptive Vγ9- subsets', Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 1760. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04076-0

Review article

Bozward, AG, Ronca, V, Osei-Bordom, D & Oo, YH 2021, 'Gut-Liver Immune Traffic: Deciphering Immune-Pathogenesis to Underpin Translational Therapy', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 711217. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.711217

Bozward, AG, Warricker, F, Oo, YH & Khakoo, SI 2021, 'Natural Killer Cells and Regulatory T Cells Cross Talk in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Exploring Therapeutic Options for the Next Decade', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 643310. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.643310

Bozward, AG, Wootton, GE, Podstawka, O & Oo, YH 2020, 'Autoimmune Hepatitis: Tolerogenic Immunological State During Pregnancy and Immune Escape in Post-partum', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 11, 591380. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.591380

Quraishi, MN, Shaheen, W, Oo, YH & Iqbal, T 2020, 'Immunological mechanisms underpinning faecal microbiota transplantation for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease', Clinical and Experimental Immunology, vol. 199, no. 1, pp. 24-38. https://doi.org/10.1111/cei.13397

Terry, LV & Oo, YH 2020, 'The Next Frontier of Regulatory T Cells: Promising Immunotherapy for Autoimmune Diseases and Organ Transplantations', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 11, 565518. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.565518

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