Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Duncan

Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow, Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases

Background

Roles
  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University
  • Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 


Previous Positions
  • Faculty Fellowship, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, 2017-2018
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Newcastle University, 2014-2016
  • Specialty Registrar in Infectious Diseases and G(I)M, Northern Deanery, 2013-2017
  • Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians, University of Oxford 2010-2013
  • Phizackerley Senior Scholarship, Balliol College Oxford 2012-2013
  • Clinical Research Fellow, University of Oxford, 2009-2010
  • Specialty Registrar in Infectious Diseases and G(I)M, West of Scotland Deanery, 2007-2013


Qualifications
  • BMed Sci (1st Class Hons.) University of Aberdeen, 2001
  • MB ChB (Distinction) University of Aberdeen, 2003 (awarded Strachan Bursary prize and Dyce Davidson medal)
  • MRCP (ID) Royal College of Physicians, 2006
  • DPhil University of Oxford, 2014


Professional Responsibilities
  • Review editor, viral immunology section, Frontiers in Immunology
  • Sample access committee, Newcastle Academic Health Partners Bioresource
  • Joint Research Scientific Executive Committee
  • Member, Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP)
  • Member: BIA, BSI, ESID
  • Peer reviewer (NEJM, BMJ, JID etc.)


Clinical interests

I am a practicing clinician, and do regular clinics in adult infectious diseases and a joint clinic with colleagues in Immunology. My specialist interests include viral disease, primary immune disorders, infection in the immunocompromised host, and sterile fever.







Research

Research Interests

How cells detect and respond to viral pathogens is reasonably well understood, however much less is known about how the potent innate immune pathways downstream of viral detection contribute to  clinically relevant outcomes of viral disease. My research aims to define both protective and deleterious mechanisms of innate antiviral signalling, in the anticipation that this knowledge may reveal new  opportunities for therapeutic intervention. In this respect, inborn errors of immunity continue to provide a rich resource, teaching us critical lessons about the normal action and regulation of antiviral immune signalling pathways in humans and how their perturbation leads to disease.

The type I interferon system is an exemplar of the importance of balance in the antiviral response. We have shown that interferon signalling is essential to human antiviral immunity, however failure to turn off interferon signalling can also be exceptionally damaging. Building on a longstanding interest in antiviral responses in macrophages, my present focus are microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain parenchyma, and the role these cells play in coordinating the brain's interferon network.

We employ cutting-edge techniques of disease modelling, combining CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in human stem cell systems with studies in model organisms.

I work closely with Professor Sophie Hambleton's Primary Immunodeficiency Group: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/icm/people/profile/sophie.hambleton 

Funding

  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (2018-2021)
  • British Infection Association, Research Fellowship (2017-2018)
  • MRC Confidence in Concept (2017-2019)
  • Academy of Medical Sciences, Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers (2014-2016)
  • British Infection Association, Project Grant (2014-2016)

Available PhD Position:

We have a fully-funded PhD studentship for 3 years available to start in October 2019.

The goal is to interrogate type I interferon mediated neuroinflammation in a newly generated CRISPR mouse model using imaging mass cytometry.  

The advert is here: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/phd-studentship-how-does-excessive-type-i-interferon-activity-damage-the-brain/?p110376

Closing date 17th July 2019.

Informal enquiries welcome: christopher.duncan@ncl.ac.uk

Teaching

Undergraduate

BMS3021: Immunology lecturer and seminar leader

Postgraduate

I coordinate Infectious Diseases teaching for the Physician Associate PG Diploma. 

I supervise MRes and PhD students, and welcome enquiries. 


Available PhD Position:

We have a fully-funded PhD studentship for 3 years available to start in October 2019.

The goal is to interrogate type I interferon mediated neuroinflammation in a newly generated CRISPR mouse model using imaging mass cytometry.  

The advert is here: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/phd-studentship-how-does-excessive-type-i-interferon-activity-damage-the-brain/?p110376

Closing date 17th July 2019.

Informal enquiries welcome: christopher.duncan@ncl.ac.uk


Publications