Dr Charles Sande
Airway inflammation in early life
Chronic respiratory diseases disproportionately affects young adults in low income settings, particularly when they had been exposed to noxious substances from biomass smoke in early life. Using methods developed to understand airway inflammation caused by viral infections can help us understand the mechanisms underlying this pathology and better devise interventions.
My research focusses on pneumonia and other serious respiratory infections that affect infants and young children. Pneumonia remains a major killer, particularly in the developing world, where the healthcare infrastructure necessary for managing the most serious manifestations of the disease are inadequate. Our group is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms of disease caused by respiratory infections such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Streptococcus pneumoniae. To gain a complete understanding of the mechanisms of disease pathology, we use a coordinated systems biology approach to examine in fine detail the interactions between the immune systems of sick children and the pathogens that cause pneumonia. We use a broad array of tools including mass spectrometry-based proteomics, protein microarrays, bacterial metagenomics and RNA-seq transcriptomics to understand host-pathogen interactions in the respiratory tract. Using these techniques we are gaining new insights into the breadth of the infant response to infection and how these responses may be leveraged in the development of effective interventions against pneumonia in the future.