Claire Bourke

Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow fuPhoto_CDBnded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society

I am a postdoctoral immunologist with a background in human population studies (University of Edinburgh), experimental animal models of parasitic worm infection (University of York), and in vitro models of HIV-driven inflammation (Queen Mary University of London). I am also a co-investigator on the ongoing HOPE-SAM study of paediatric severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Zambia and Zimbabwe

My broad research goal is to understand how malnutrition and other immune-polarising conditions (particularly helminth and HIV infection) shape immune responses to new pathogen challenges. Could therapeutically targeting immune dysfunction in these conditions improve clinical outcomes in chronically exposed populations?

My Fellowship is focused on innate anti-bacterial responses in children with complicated SAM, who are at high risk of severe bacterial infections during hospitalisation and after discharge. I am tracking the function of innate immune cells and the systemic inflammatory environment of each child over the course of their nutritional rehabilitation. I hope to determine whether functional immune profiles can predict infection risk during this critical recovery period.


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