My DPhil project in sepsis is related to, but not directly related to COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 does cause sepsis in the severely ill patients, but the samples I study currently are from former patients with sepsis due to other pathogens but not this coronavirus in particular.
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Aside from direct viral invasion, COVID-19 causes sepsis as well in the critically ill patients who show evidence of respiratory, cardiovascular, liver or other organ failure. My work is focused on investigating the individual host response to sepsis, utilising high-throughput proteomics and cytokine profiling from patient plasma. Identification of patient sub-types associated with disease severity and underlying pathophysiology could have clinical impact in improving prognosis and treatment by dividing patients into more homogeneous groups. Meanwhile, my colleagues in the Knight group are working to further understand the transcriptomic response in sepsis, including patients with sepsis due to COVID-19 as well.
My College supervisor is Professor Tao Dong, Supernumerary Fellow in Medicine and Professor of Immunology, who is investigating the immune response in cells from coronavirus infected patients who are doing well compared to those who are getting very sick. My DPhil supervisor is Professor Julian Knight so the colleagues I have mentioned are part of the Knight group.
Yuxin Mi (2017, DPhil Clinical Medicine)
Photo: John Cairns
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Published: 1 July 2020