Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Fiona Cooke

Research Associate



I accepted a role as Research Associate at Newcastle University on the AuToDeCRA2 Project.


Graduated from St Andrews University in PhD in Medicine.


I took up a position as a Research Fellow at St Andrews University. The project title was 'Investigating the Role that HLA-B27 plays in Ankylosing Spondylitis'. This involved using viral vectors and plasmid vectors to transfect HeLa cells and monocyte derived dendritic cells (moDC) with our gene of interest. Following this cells were analysed for their protein expression and SWATH MS performed to search for up regulation or down regulation of proteins on this disease model.


My research as a PhD student at St Andrews University revolved around extracellular vesicles (EV) and their potential for use in gene therapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). AS is an autoimmune disease of the lower back very similar to arthritis. Inflammation usually occurs at the sacroiliac joint and prolonged disease can lead to fusion of the spine. There is currently no cure for this disease and the mode of disease has not yet been confirmed.


Graduated with a 1st in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from Newcastle University.


I'm embarking on the AuToDeCRA2 project in the laboratory of Prof John Isaacs. This involves the development and use of tolerogenic Dendritic cells (tolDC) in a therapy to reprogram the immune system away from an inflammatory pathway in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Hopefully this therapy will have long-term effects.