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Speaker Bios

Dr. Arne Akbar

University College London

Professor Akbar’s work involves studies at the interface between academia, industry and clinical practice. He is internationally recognized for his studies on mechanisms that control the differentiation and senescence of human T lymphocytes and two of these studies were published in 2014 in Nature Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. In addition, he has made seminal observations about how different CD45R isoforms can be used to discriminate between primed and T cells and these markers are now used in routine diagnostic practice. His group was one of the first to identify human regulatory T cells. He was closely involved in the development of Basilizximab (Simulect), used for the prevention of acute solid organ graft rejection (Akbar is a joint patent holder) that has been used to treat ~300,000 patients. His group have also developed cutaneous recall antigen challenge models in humans for the study of immunity in vivo that have been adopted by researchers worldwide and by Glaxo Smith-Klein. His research group consists of basic scientists and clinicians facilitating the translational aspects of his work. The benefit of this combination is exemplified by the recent award of a highly competitive multidisciplinary MRC Experimental Medicine Grant (Akbar PI) to investigate whether blocking p38MAP kinase in older humans in vivo enhances their responses to recall antigen challenge in the skin. These studies are based on original mechanistic data that was generated in the Akbar Lab.