Research into matrix is a major strength at Manchester and immuno-matrix is a central theme of the University’s Wellcome Centre for Cell Matrix Research.
Matrix surrounds and supports our cells and accounts for one third of our body mass. Dysregulation of matrix is a central process in the pathogenesis of most human chronic diseases, and a critical factor in fibrosis (scarring). The extracellular matrix regulates and is regulated by the innate and adaptive immune system.
We study how matrix modulates the response of cells to immune signals and thus contributes to host protection. Conversely, we study how immune signals regulate matrix stiffness and turnover, which is essential for the restoration of tissue homeostasis after injury or infection.
Our research is delivering new insights into the interconnectivity between matrix and immune function, with major implications for treatment of chronic diseases and understanding host–pathogen interactions.