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Dr David Finlay wins ERC Consolidator Award for €2 million

14 December 2017

Dr David Finlay has won a prestigious European Research Commission (ERC) Consolidator Grants worth €2 million to pursue a cutting-edge research project investigating how nutrients can regulated the induction of T cell immune responses.

In recent years, scientists have demonstrated that cellular metabolism appears to be crucial in controlling immune responses; regulation of the response is acutely sensitive to nutrients that fuel important metabolic pathways and support nutrient-sensitive signaling pathways. Some of Dr David Finlay’s prior work has indicated - in vitro - that these process-driving nutrients are not equally available to all immune cells.

What Dr Finlay now hopes to do is demonstrate how local distributions of nutrients such as glucose, glutamine and leucine affect the immune response in vivo in mice.

David said “We are developing new tools to allow us to study nutrient distribution at the single cell level in vivo, something that is not currently possible. If we can conclusively demonstrate that the availability of these nutrients is a key mechanism for controlling CD8 T cell immune responses, it would be a paradigm-shifting discovery that would open new horizons for the study of nutrient-regulated immune responses.”