Professor Ye Htun Oo PhD, FRCP

Ye Oo

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Professor of Autoimmune Liver Diseases and Translational Hepatology
Honorary Consultant Hepatologist

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 Htun Oo is a Professor of Autoimmune liver diseases and Translational Hepatology in the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy. He is also a 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. He previously held Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Award and received Sir Frances Avery Jones Award from British Society of Gastroenterology.

Ye is the academic lead for Birmingham Advanced Cell Therapy Facility and spearhead the bench to bedside regulatory T cells immunotherapy on autoimmune liver diseases and transplantations.

His group basic science research aims to dissect the pathogenesis mechanism of autoimmune liver diseases, immune mediated liver injury with OMICS approach and develop new personalised therapies. Ye and his team develop and deliver translational GMP Regulatory T clinical trials in autoimmune liver diseases and transplantation.

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 2018, 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 interested in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Oo on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

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 grand (2019-2024)

Ye and his team (Wootton) were awarded the programme grant to test a potential new therapy for the devastating liver disease, Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), where the immune system attacks the liver leading to 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 they 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)

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

Medical Research Foundation Grant (2020-2023)

In collaboration with his colleague, Dr Trivedi, Clinician Scientist, the team will dissect the Treg biology in autoimmune hepatitis.

Juan Rhodes Fellows (2021-2024)

In collaboration with Professor Pietro Invernizzi in University of Milano, Ye hosts a Juan Rodes hepatology fellow, Dr Ronca to dissect the immunopathogenesis 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.

European Reference Network (ERN) RARE-LIVER Centre

Birmingham is a centre for ERN-Rare Liver and Ye represents autoimmune hepatitis programme in the network.

GSK collaborative work (2020-2022)

MediMedBio collaborative work (2021-2023)

QEHB charity project grant (2020-2024)

His team will conduct the GMP Treg trial with the support from QEHB charity.

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)
  • Trans Bio Line Drug Induced Liver Injury Immunology lead
  • International autoimmune hepatitis group member
  • European Research Network - Rare Liver member
  • BASL member
  • BSG member
  • UK-AIH Founding member &Scientific Committee member
  • EASL member
  • AASLD Autoimmune Special Interest Group member
  • BASL Autoimmune Special Interest Group member

Awards

Ye was awarded Sir Francis Avery Jones Medal from the British Society for Gastroenterology in recognition of his regulatory T-cell research, and an innovative study on immunotherapy. Read the full story.

Ye also received Sir Jules Thorn Programme Grant in 2018 to develop and deliver regulatory T cells therapy in autoimmune liver disease. Read the full story.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

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

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

Willcox, B, Davey, M, Willcox, C, Hunter, S, Salim, M, Mohammed, F & Oo, YH 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

Knoblich, K, Cruz Migoni, S, Siew, S, Jinks, E, Kaul, B, Jeffery, H, Baker, A, Suliman, M, Vrzalikova, K, Mehanna, H, Murray, P, Barone, F, Newsome, P, Hirschfield, G, Kelly, D, Oo, YH, Lee, S, Parekkadan, B, Turley, S & Fletcher, A 2018, 'The human lymph node microenvironment unilaterally regulates T cell activation and differentiation', PLoS Biology. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2005046

Davey, MS, Willcox, CR, Hunter, S, Oo, YH & Willcox, BE 2018, 'Vδ2 T Cells-Two Subsets for the Price of One', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 9, 2106. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02106

Jeffery, H, McDowell, P, Lutz, P, Wawman, RE, Roberts, S, Bagnall, C, Birtwistle, J, Adams, D & Oo, YH 2017, 'Human intrahepatic ILC2 are IL-13*positive Amphiregulin*positive and their frequency correlates with Model of End stage Liver Disease score', PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 12, e0188649. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0188649

Jeffery, H, Jeffery, L, Lutz, P, Corrigan, M, Webb, G, Hirschfield, G, Adams, D & Oo, YH 2017, 'Low dose interleukin-2 promotes STAT5 phosphorylation, Treg survival and CTLA-4 dependent function in autoimmune liver disease: Low dose IL2 promotes regulatory T cell function in autoimmune liver diseases', Clinical & Experimental Immunology, vol. 188, no. 3, pp. 394–411. https://doi.org/10.1111/cei.12940

Riva, A, Patel, V, Kurioka, A, Jeffery, HC, Wright, G, Tarff, S, Shawcross, D, Ryan, JM, Evans, A, Azarian, S, Bajaj, JS, Fagan, A, Patel, V, Mehta, K, Lopez, C, Simonova, M, Katzarov, K, Hadzhiolova, T, Pavlova, S, Wendon, JA, Oo, YH, Klenerman, P, Williams, R & Chokshi, S 2017, 'Mucosa-associated invariant T cells link intestinal immunity with antibacterial immune defects in alcoholic liver disease', Gut. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2017-314458

Review article

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

View all publications in research portal