I lead a group which focuses on two main areas: Protein expression/folding and Food allergy. Our aim is to understand why common food proteins are recognized by the immune system as "foreign" whilst other proteins with similar structures are tolerated? Our model systems: nuts proteins (plant 2S albumins).
Current research areas in the lab include:
• Allergy diagnostics: we are developing new tools for the clinical diagnose of allergies and safety of vaccines by (i) validating a comprehensive basophil x protein microarray system and (ii) further developing a comprehensive protein microarray and mathematical modelling system.
• Protein allergenicity: we are characterising the intrinsic allergenicity determinants of major plant derived allergens to use as predictors of allergenicity in novel food proteins.
• NKT work: we are setting up cell based systems to study the role of key lipid mediators on sensitisation and intrinsic allergenicity of proteins.
• Protein expression: by developing new strategies for the production of properly folded and in vivo biotinylated proteins in the yeast system, we are developing new tools on the area of nanoparticles and phage display technology.