High Dimensional Immune and Epigenetic Profiling of Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Boris Novakovic boris.novakovic@mcri.edu.au
A/Prof Jane Munro jane.munro@mcri.edu.au

Summary Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that is one of the leading causes of childhood disability, affecting around 6000 Australian children. It typically causes joint pain and inflammation in the hands, knees, ankles, elbows and/or wrists. Despite its relatively high incidence, the molecular and cellular changes associated with JIA remain poorly understood. We hypothesise that blood cells (e.g. T cells, monocytes and B cells) from JIA patients will show differences in cellular proportions, responses to activation in culture, and have a distinct molecular profiles relative to controls. We will test this in the current project by applying state-of-the-art immunology and molecular genomic sequencing techniques to circulating blood cells from JIA patients and matched controls as part of our CLARITY (Childhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification Study) biobank which is one of the largest, most biospecimen- and information-dense collections in the world.

Project Details

Autoimmune Disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part. There are about 80 Autoimmune Diseases, which affect 5-10% of the population of the Western world. Around 70% of those affected are female, owing to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that is one of the leading causes of childhood disability, affecting around 6000 Australian children. It typically causes joint pain and inflammation in the hands, knees, ankles, elbows and/or wrists. Despite its relatively high incidence, the molecular and cellular changes associated with JIA remain poorly understood.

We hypothesise that blood cells (e.g. T cells, monocytes and B cells) from JIA patients will show differences in cellular proportions, responses to activation in culture, and have a distinct molecular profiles relative to controls. We will test this in the current project by applying state-of-the-art immunology and molecular genomic sequencing techniques to circulating blood cells from JIA patients and matched controls as part of our CLARITY (Childhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification Study) biobank which is one of the largest, most biospecimen- and information-dense collections in the world.

Techniques to be used in this project include cell culture, cell sorting, high dimensional flow cytometry, DNA/RNA extraction, a range of epigenetic approaches, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and bioinformatic analysis.



Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital,Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)

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