Dr Elspeth Potton
I am a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow at UCL and a respiratory and general medicine registrar. I am interested in respiratory infection and my research is centered on host-pathogen interactions within the lung and in particular respiratory tract infections that complicate HIV-1 disease. I work with Dr Noursadeghi, UCL and Dr A Floto, University of Cambridge.
Macrophages are sentinel innate immune cells and the first line of cellular defence within the lung. I am investigating the effect that HIV-1 has on co-infecting pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, on macrophages. I am focusing on intracellular survival and replication of co-infecting pathogens as well as host cell survival. In order to understand the effect of HIV-1 on macrophage biology I have specifically investigated the effect of HIV-1 on phagocytosis and autophagy, two processes that are responsible for microbial killing and presentation of antigen to the adaptive immune system.
I hope that my research will give us a greater understanding of the increased susceptibility to respiratory infections in HIV-1 disease.