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Allison Green

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Allison Green is a Professor in Immunology.

Allison is a member of the Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine research group at Hull York Medical School.


Previously Allison was Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science in the Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) and HYMS and joined the Centre in 2010.

Allison obtained her BSc in Immunology from Glasgow University (UK), a PhD in Virology, Immunology and Vaccination at St. Andrews University (UK) and then moved to Yale School of Medicine (USA) to conduct postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Richard Flavell. Whilst here, she obtained a Juvenile Diabetes Research (JDRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by a JDRF Career Development Award.

In 2001, she was recruited to Cambridge University (UK) to set up her own laboratory funded by a Wellcome Trust/JDRF Career Development Award and subsequently a Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science.

In 2002, she was the first recipient of the GJ Thorbecke Award from the International Society for Leukocyte Biology in recognition of her work in inflammation and disease.

Employment History

01/06/2013-31/01/2016 Academic Lead for Applied Life Science, HYMS, York University.

12/02/2005-31/07/2010 Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, Cambridge University, UK.

12/02/2001-11/02/2005 Wellcome/JDRF Career Development Fellow, Cambridge University, UK.

01/07/1999-11/02/2001 JDRF Career Development Fellow, Yale School of Medicine, USA.

01/07/1997-30/06/1999 JDRF Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale School of Medicine, USA.

01/03/1995-01/07/1997 Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale School of Medicine, USA.

Research interests

The immune system is tightly regulated; evolving to defend the body against pathogenic assault but not our own tissues. Nevertheless, in some individuals, their own immune system turns against them leading to pathology. Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune condition that is characterised by immune-mediated attack of the insulin-secreting β cells in the pancreas. Insulin deficiency results in dysregulation of glucose metabolism, leading to life-threatening medical conditions. Allison's lab is focused on determining the mechanisms by which the immune system turns against our own β cells, and ultimately use such information to develop novel therapies to the condition. 

The thymus plays a critical role in purging the immune system of immune cells (called T cells) that can attack our own tissues. Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) are central for purging of so-called autoreactive T cells, and loss of mTECs can lead to higher incidences of autoimmune disease. Allison's research team discovered that a relatively under-researched cell, the thymic B cell participates in the death of mTECs, promoting type 1 diabetes progression. The research team are expanding on this novel discovery, focusing on three main themes:

Thymic B cell ontogeny.
Present in the thymus from foetal age to elderly, there is much dispute on the source of thymic B cells as we age. We, and others, have evidence that thymic B cells develop in this organ. We are deciphering the cell types and signal pathways involved in thymic B cell ontogeny in comparison to the normal organ for B cell development- the bone marrow. Identification of a pathway unique to thymic B cell ontogeny may offer insights for a targeted approach to remove thymic B cells.

Thymic B cell function.
We know that antibodies produced from thymic B cells destroy mTECs, but we do not know by which mechanisms these antibodies perpetuate that negative outcome. We are particularly interested in the role of Complement, a part of the immune system that has been linked to Myasthenia Gravis- an autoimmune disease, where thymic B cells produce antibodies that target the acetyl choline receptor and requires Complement activity for disease manifestation.

In silco modelling of the thymic environment
We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to generate in silco models of the thymic microenvironment to help decipher the complex cellular interplay of the thymic B cells within the thymic environment, and lead to new avenues for therapeutic intervention. 


Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of York

Award Date: 1 Jun 2013

PhD in Virology, Immunology and Vaccination, Univ St Andrews, Sch Biol

Award Date: 2 Feb 1995

BSc (Hons) in Immunology, University of Glasgow, U.K.

Award Date: 1 Jun 1990

External positions

Principal Research Associate, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, CIMR Cambridge University

1 Apr 200931 Jul 2010

Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, CIMR, Cambridge University

12 Feb 200531 Jul 2010

Wellcome Trust/ Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Career Development Fellow, CIMR, Cambridge University

12 Feb 200111 Feb 2005

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Career Development Awardee, Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA

1 Jul 199911 Feb 2001

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA

1 Jul 199730 Jun 1999

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