Prof Sarosh Irani
I am head of the Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, and a consultant neurologist and clinician-scientist with clinical and laboratory experiences in the field of autoantibody-mediated diseases of the nervous system, in particular the central nervous system. I run a dedicated clinic for the care of these patients, and run a research group of clinicians and scientists to learn more about the origins and treatments of these diseases.
Our work has shown that autoantibody specificities have a remarkably close relationship with the patient phenotype. For example, the psychopathological features and movement disorder in patients with NMDAR-antibodies,1,2 and in the seizure semiologies in patients with LGI1-antibodies.3 In conjunction, we study the cellular and humoral human immunology. To date, we have described strong HLA associations4 and the potential of B cells in circulation to produce the autoantibodies in these conditions.5,6 In addition, we have used the patient tumours to better understand the aetiology of these diseases. We are using these foundations to understand the breaks in immune tolerance and developing methods to rapidly generate patient-derived monoclonal antibodies7 to precisely explore the neuroscience mechanisms by which the antibodies cause disease. We anticipate ongoing work towards determining the mechanisms underlying aetiology and propagation of these conditions will allow the rational selection of future immunotherapies.