In Newcastle, our focus is on immune determinants of life-threatening COVID-19. The immune response to severe COVID-19 appears to make matters worse, judging by the effectiveness of the immunosuppressant drug dexamethasone in preventing deaths. A key challenge is to define the specific aspects of immunity involved, to help predict clinical deterioration and find more effective and targeted treatments. Drawing on the expertise of Newcastle investigators in cutting-edge technologies, we will investigate immune signatures of life-threatening COVID-19 in high-risk patient groups, including older people and people from BAME backgrounds.
A specific focus is the complement system, benefiting from Newcastle's expertise in complement genetics and therapy, through the National Complement Therapeutics Centre. We advocate open data and will rapidly share research findings through a COVID-19 web portal. Through our leading contributions to national bodies, such as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Advisory Group, we will continue to support clinical translation of research findings.