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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Emma Chambers, PhD



Centre: Immunobiology

Twitter: @Emma_S_Chambers


Emma Chambers graduated in Immunology from the University of Bristol in 2008. She subsequently undertook an MSc and PhD at King’s College London in Immunology. Her PhD was under the supervision of Prof. Kasia Hawrylowicz investigating the in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory properties of Vitamin D. Following her PhD, Emma was awarded an MRC Centenary Fellowship to understand the mechanisms of steroid resistant severe adult asthma.

Following on from this fellowship, Emma undertook Postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof. Arne Akbar at University College London, to investigate how immunity changes with age. Her project was investigating if blocking inflammation can enhance antigen-specific immunity in older adults, using the anti-inflammatory drug Losmapimod (p38-MAPKinase inhibitor) or Vitamin D. Emma developed an interested in the effect of age on monocyte phenotype and function, and found that monocytes contribute to the phenomenon of inflammageing.

Emma was awarded a Bart’s Charity lectureship in April 2020 to join the Centre for Immunobiology at the Blizard Institute. The aim of her lab is to understand how ageing alters immunity with a focus on monocytes, and also how ageing alters the lung environment in health and disease.

Emma is an active participant in vaccine hesitancy public engagement events. Emma is also an early career British Society for Immunology Trustee.

LinkedIn: Emma S Chambers


Research Interests:

Life-expectancy is increasing in the western-world - unfortunately, increasing life-span does not co-incide with increasing health-span, significantly impacting on quality of life. The effect of age on a ‘healthy’ immune system has been well studied particularly on the adaptive immune system and is termed immunosenescence. However, interestingly not all aspects of immunity declines with age, as there is a state of systemic chronic low grade inflammatory observed in older adults termed ‘in-flamm-ageing’. Inflammageing is detrimental to a functioning immune response, and we have found recently that blocking inflammation with either a p38-MAPK Kinase inhibitor or Vitamin D supplementation can enhance antigen-specific immunity in older adults.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, and with the increasing older population, there will in-creasing number of older people living with asthma. The effect of being older (>65 years old) on asthma development, severity and treatment has not been well investigated. Indeed, most clinical and research studies on phenotype and control of asthmatic disease to-date have focused on young-er patients, often actively excluding older participants. The older asthma patients are an understudied population which need further investigation.

The aim of the Chambers lab is to understand how stromal and immune cells change in the lung with age and the implications of these discoveries on lung health and disease.


Key Publications

ES Chambers, M Vukmanovic-Stejic, BB Shih, H Trahair, P Subramanian, OP Devine, J Glanville, D Gilroy, MHA Rustin, TC Freeman, NA Mabbott & AN Akbar. (2021) Recruitment of inflammatory monocytes by senescent fibroblasts inhibits antigen-specific tissue immunity during human aging. Nature Aging

ES Chambers, M Vukmanovic-Stejic, CT Turner, BB Shih, H Trahair, M Rustin, TC Freeman, NA Mabbot, M Noursadeghi, A Martineau and AN Akbar. (2021) Vitamin D supplementation enhances antigen-specific immunity in older adults. Immunotherapy Advances

RPH De Maeyer and ES Chambers (2021) The impact of ageing on monocytes and macrophages. Immunology Letters

ES Chambers, Akbar AN (2020). Can blocking inflammation enhance immunity during aging? Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Pereira B, De Maeyer R, Covre L, Nehar-Belaid D, Lanna A, Ward S, Marches R, Chambers ES et al.(2020). Sestrins induce natural killer function in 1 senescent-like CD8+ T cells. Nature Immunology

All Publications

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