Dr Jackie Cliff
BA MSc PhD
After obtaining my BA degree in Physiological Sciences from St Anne's College, University of Oxford, I completed the MSc in Immunology of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM. I studied for my PhD with Gerry Klaus at the National Institute for Medical Research, investigating the autocrine regulation of murine B cells. I joined LSHTM as a post-doctoral research fellow with Prof. Hazel Dockrell in 1999, investigating immune responses in tuberculosis.
I am the Programme Content Director for the Distance-Learning Masters Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Infectious Diseases. I also teach on the London-based Immunology of Infectious Diseases MSc course.
I am interested in biomarkers of tuberculosis treatment-response, which would facilitate clinical trials of new TB therapies. We are characterising changes in human blood gene expression patterns which correlate with successful cure or with treatment-failure /relapse. We are also investigating how these are affected by co-morbidities, such as HIV/TB or helminth/TB co-infection. Candidate host gene expression panels from microarray and/or RNASeq transcriptomic datasets are being developed into more field-friendly tools for validation as potential biomarkers of TB treatment outcome.
As part of the TANDEM research consortium, we have been investigating the causal mechanism underlying the enhanced susceptibility to TB disease development caused by type 2 diabetes, by analysing gene expression profiles in TB/diabetes co-morbid patients compared to uncomplicated TB patients. We are interested in how such changes in gene expression affect the ability of macrophages to control M. tuberculosis.
I also collaborate with the CURE-ME group to investigate disease pathogenesis in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We have found altered cytotoxic cell phenotype, indicating ongoing anti-viral responses. We are currently expanding our research to include people with "Long COVID" to determine if the underlying mechanisms are similar in a subgroup of patients.