Ania Skowera has just accepted a new position at the Blizzard Institute in Queen Mary University of London to establish a research group focused on developing the understanding of the autoimmune synapse between CD8 T cells and beta-cells to facilitate the design of novel therapeutic targets in T1D and other autoimmune diseases. Ania Skowera, a Master of immunology from Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland) undertook here PhD with the Autoimmunity group in Kings College London (KCL). Her post-doctoral research (supported by NIHR GSTFT/KCL Comprehensive Biomedical Centre) has focused on autoimmune Type-1 Diabetes where she has pioneered CD8 T cell-orientated studies for the KCL group. In 2008 she isolated 1E6 the CD8 T cell clone specific for the PPI 15-24 signal-peptide (ALWGPDPAAA). Skowera demonstrated how 1E6 can specifically destroy human beta cells in a glucose-regulated manner (JCI 2008), this breakthrough led to her FOCIS-JDRF Research Scholar Award. Her interest, combining both basic & translational immunology, has led to numerous successful collaborations including; reporting the first structure for an autoimmune MHC class I-restricted TCR complex in humans, providing novel insight into how autoimmunity may arise. Her recent work using new multimer technologies for the in depth characterization of autoimmune CD8 T cells aims to deliver T-cell-based diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools.
Abstracts this author is presenting: