NIHR Research Professor and Professor of Translational Immunology
Associate Faculty Cellular Genetics, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Menna Clatworthy is a clinician scientist and divides her time between clinical work as a nephrologist, managing kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant recipients, and research in cellular immunology. Her lab has two overlapping areas of interest; understanding the regulation of B cell activation and antibody effector function and investigating tissue immunity across organs and disease states. This work ranges from experimental medicine studies in patients, in collaboration with industry partners, through to basic immunology studies, using murine models. The lab has a strong emphasis on integrating the use of primary human tissues into all of their studies, ensuring translational relevance, and includes collaborations with colleagues at the Wellcome Sanger Institute utilising single cell technologies to understand tissue-resident immune cells.
She discovered that the specific environment of the kidney shapes resident immune cell response, demonstrating how regional differences in interstitial salinity act to optimize macrophage position and antibacterial function, preventing ascending urinary tract infection. This led to a detailed exploration of the previously unknown, but remarkably precise and detailed, anatomical “zonation” of immune functionality in the kidney. Her clinical trials have highlighted the importance of regulatory B cells in transplant survival. Her many discoveries have implications for our understanding of disease with significant impacts on patient care.