Wezi’s research focuses on the effect of ageing on the inflammatory responses that protect us from infectious diseases and repair body tissues after injury. Existing evidence has suggested that as people age the processes that regulate the resolution of inflammation become defective, contributing to ageing syndromes such as frailty and sarcopenia.
By using non-infectious bacterial products to study the onset and resolution of immune responses in healthy volunteers, Wezi aims to understand the mechanisms behind age-related defects in inflammation. This will hopefully lead to treatments to limit the impact of age-associated diseases, allowing people to live healthier lives for longer.
Wellcome Trust ISSF Broadening Our Horizons grant – £1941.43 to attend Next Generation Sequencing data analysis workshop in Munich, May 2019.
In my clinical work in respiratory and general medicine, I often look after older adults with infections such as pneumonia. Infections like these can be more severe than in younger people and therefore more difficult to treat. I became interested in what changes in the immune system as we age such that infections become more likely and potentially more severe, which led me to undertake research in ageing and immunity.
I trained in medicine in Newcastle, graduating in 2011 before completing Foundation and Core Medical rotations here in the northeast of England. I joined the training programme in respiratory medicine in 2015 and shortly afterward became interested in pursuing ageing research. I began my doctoral research in 2018.
My research focuses on the effect of ageing on immune function. Age-related changes in the functioning of the immune system have been implicated in several diseases of ageing including frailty, sarcopenia and dementia. If we are able to understand more about changes in the processes of inflammation and immunity with ageing, we may be able to develop more effective treatments for these age-related conditions in future.
Being part of the NIHR feels like being a member of a large extended family. The mentorship from more senior NIHR fellows has been invaluable in helping me settle into my programme of research, and the available training opportunities have been indispensable in allowing me to develop as a researcher.