Title: Senior Research Associate
Duties: To direct research projects under the guidance of Associate Professor Bruce Zuraw, Division of Rheumatology in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM). "I have a great boss and I'm in a great division. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and supportive. I decide the direction of my work, but I get help and advice whenever I need it. I've learned a lot and grown a lot."
Started at TSRI: 1999.
Background: B.Sc. with honors from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England; Ph.D in genetics, Imperial College, London; postdoctoral fellowship at the National Heart and Lung Institute, London.
Research Focus: Understanding the mechanisms of allergic airway inflammation in asthma. In particular, her experiments have focused on the regulation of chemokine receptors in the epithelial cells lining the human airway in response to inflammatory mediators.
"Asthma is on the rise, especially in children," Eddleston notes. "It's important to ask how we can break the cycle."
While at TSRI, Eddleston found the expression of several chemokine receptors, CXCR1, CXCR2 and CXCR4, is significantly increased in the airway epithelial cells of people with active airway inflammation.
She followed this work by investigating whether kinins, inflammatory mediators known to be elevated during airway inflammation, could regulate chemokine receptor expression. She found that kinins up-regulate the expression of these chemokine receptors in the nasal epithelial cells of patients with mild allergic rhinitis, but not in normal controls.
"Next, I'd like to look at the down-stream effects of activating CXC chemokine receptors, to discover how they contribute to airway inflammation, " Eddleston says.
Use of TSRI Research Facilities: General Clinical Research Center (GCRC), a seven-bed inpatient unit where the clinical utility of discoveries made in the lab can be tested; MEM core facility; laser capture dissection microscope facility.
"This research wouldn't have been possible without the GCRC. There is no GCRC in London! I told my friends back home about it and they couldn't believe [how lucky I was]. The GCRC nurses are great-they get samples from patients, follow research protocols, isolate cellsand they are interested in the outcome!
"As a scientist, it is invaluable to have the use of core facilitiesnot only the GCRC, but also the real-time PCR machine and flow cytometry machine in the MEM core facility as well as the laser capture dissection microscope facility. It would be impossible to buy some of this instrumentation on a single grant and the staff is there to answer questions. I appreciate the other kinds of support at TSRI, toolike the e-mail "wetlab" classified ads and the seminars on grant writing."
Extracurriculars: Hiking, going to the movies, spending time with her fiancé, Mark. She also recently discovered mountain biking.