Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Rebecca Payne
Rebecca Payne external fellow

I began my career in Immunology at Oxford University in the lab of Prof Philip Goulder studying CD8+ T-cell responses to HIV and HIV adaptation to CD8+ T-cell immune pressure. Our studies of viral replication from different African cohorts lead to a seminal revelation that HIV may be evolving into a less virulent form, which received national and international news coverage in Dec 2014.

Following a 3-year career break from research, I joined the Primary Immunodeficiency Group in the Institute of Cellular Medicine in January 2016, working as a Research Associate for Prof. Sophie Hambleton. During this time I secured an internal award from the Newcastle Single Cell Unit which allowed me to begin gathering preliminary data from the recently installed Helios CyTOF located in the Newcastle Flow Cytometry Core Facility. In January 2017 I began my Wellcome Career Re-entry Fellowship and I am extremely grateful to the Faculty for their support, mock interviews and advice during this time.

I plan to use my Wellcome Fellowship to continue exploring the theme of host/pathogen interactions in immunodeficient patients. I will be working with Prof Sophie Hambleton and Prof Muz Haniffa to understand the role of innate lymphoid cells in immunodeficiency. I will investigate how these cells interact with adaptive immune responses and how they might mediate signals from the gut microbiome during stem-cell transplant. I hope that these studies will provide insights into novel therapeutic interventions necessary to tackle stem-cell transplant complications such as Graft-versus-Host Disease.