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Immunosenescence and Ageing (ImAge) Group

  • Ageing in the human immune system
  • Senescent cell clearance by the immune system
  • Immune inhibitory signalling complexes

My group investigates mechanisms that control the differentiation and senescence of human T lymphocytes. This work is internationally recognized and highly cited (H Index 57). Two recent paradigm shifting papers were published by my group in Nature Immunology (Lanna A et al. 2014, 2017) and the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Henson SM et al. 2014). These papers show that cell metabolism and cell senescence are linked by the same signalling pathways and that this pathway can be manipulated to boost the function of human T lymphocytes. This has considerable implications for immune enhancement during ageing and in patients with malignancy. These papers have been highlighted on the BBSRC Business Magazine and in the Daily Express (Change in diet can slow rate you age at Daily Express 25 Aug 2014, p4. and in the Science Daily.  In addition, the University College London Media Department made a video podcast that highlights this work that has been posted on YouTube and has been featured on the BBSRC, MRC and UCL websites.

  • Lymphocyte signalling
  • Human skin challenge model
  • Identification of senescent cells in histology
  • Cellular interactions
  • Flow cytometry/confocal microscopy
  1. Lanna A, Henson SM, Escors D and Akbar AN. 2014. The kinase p38 activated by the metabolic regulator AMPK and scaffold TAB1 drives the senescence of human T cells. Nat. Immunol. 15(10): 965-972.
  2. Lanna A, Gomes DCO, Mueller-Duriovic M, McDonnell T, Escors D Gilroy DW, Lee JH, Karin M and Akbar AN, 2017. A sestrin-dependent Erk-Jnk-p38 MAPK activation complex inhibits immunity during aging. Nat. Immunol , doi:10.1038/ni.3665
  3. Vukmanovic-Stejic M, Chambers ES, Suárez-Fariñas M, Sandhu D, Fuentes-Duculan J, Patel N, Agius E, Lacy KE, Turner CT, Larbi A, Birault V, Noursadeghi M, Mabbott NA, Rustin MHA, Krueger JG, Akbar AN. 2017. Enhancement of cutaneous immunity during aging by blocking p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-induced inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol. (17)31766-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.10.032.



Head of lab

Arne N. Akbar
Professor of Immunology