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Professor Rachel McLoughlin

Professor in Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Science Institute

  • Research Institute:
    • Trinity Biomedical Science Institute

  • Contact e-mail:
  • Contact number:
  • Thematic Area:
    • Translational Immunology Studies and Therapeutics/ Vaccine Studies

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Research Profile:

Prof McLoughlin’s research has made a significant international impact and has directly informed development of next-generation vaccines to treat antimicrobial resistant bacterial infections. Her research is focused on understanding the host immune response to Staphylococccus aureus exposure, with a particular focus on adaptive cellular immunity.

COVID-19 Project:

Secondary bacterial infections are an unavoidable consequence of viral pandemics due to the intricate immune evasion processes utilised by viruses to block immunity. This multi-pathogenic challenge often sets patients on a path of life-threating consequences. The pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 is currently an international emergency, however, the daunting backdrop of the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) epidemic, makes secondary bacterial infections a major compounding threat to humanity, that we must not ignore. It is therefore vital we rapidly investigate how SARS-CoV-2 infection could potentially interfere with anti-bacterial immune responses. We are interested in dissecting how exposure to viruses and bacteria both sequentially and simultaneously impact upon immune memory which can dictate outcomes of subsequent infection. In addition, our lab has experience in interrogating immunological phenotypes in infected patients and utilising machine learning approaches to identify immune features predicative out infection outcome, these approaches will be applied in collaboration with other researchers, to interrogate immune signatures predicative of outcomes for COVID19 disease and infection incidences in exposed individuals.