Showing articles associated with Tao Dong

Professor Tao Dong returned to Oxford as a Professor of Immunology in 2014, after receiving her D.Phil in 1998. She is a Program Leader at the MRC Human Immunology Unit, and is the Founding Director of both the CAMS-Oxford joint International Centre for Translational Immunology and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Oxford Institute (COI).

What is your main area(s) of interest/expertise?

The main objective of my group’s research is to focus on the functional aspects of antigen specific T cells and studying the factors affecting T cells in controlling virus infection and cancer development.

For important human infections and cancer development the course of disease is influenced by T cell response - while a robust and appropriate T cell response is beneficial to the host, a weak or inappropriate response can be ineffective or even have a detrimental effect.

My group is aiming to uncover the diverse mechanisms exploited by evolving tumours that cause T cells to lose their ability to detect and eliminate cancer cells in specific patients, to what extent these functions can be restored, how potential toxic effect could be controlled and exhaustion could be prevented.

We are also interested in studying the impact of IFTIM3 genetic variation on Influenza, and other virus infections, immune responses and disease outcomes.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working with long-term collaborations in China Beijing’s You ‘an and Ditan Hospitals, the largest infectious diseases hospitals in the city.  My group are studying immune responses to SARS-Cov-2 virus infection in COVID-19 patients. I am also coordinating collaborative work with Chinese colleagues at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Nankai University. The Head of Division, Professor Gavin Screaton and I are also in contact with the Chinese Embassy to expedite supportive responses, and offer expert access from Oxford as requested. In addition I have agreed with Professor Cao Xuetao, as co-Directors of the CAMS Oxford Institute, to prioritise projects for COVID-19 Research.  

Why is Oxford a good place to work in this field of research?

In a word: collaboration. The COI is a joint venture between Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, with great links to clinicians in China. Combined with the Institute’s knowhow on managing cancer and infectious disease, we were able to get started on COVID-19 research in January. By March, we had seven projects focused on the immunobiology of SARS-CoV-2.

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Tao Dong