Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.


John Radcliffe Hospital, Level 5 and 6, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU


5 October 2020


Investigation into the interactions between regulatory T cells and myeloid cells in the development of immunological tolerance


Dr Fadi Issa and Dr Joanna Hester

Nora Atallah

BSc, MSc

DPhil student

Currently, I am a first year DPhil student in the Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG). My research project focuses on investigating the interactions between regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid cells in the development of immunological tolerance. Tregs are a subset of T cells with regulatory characteristics, and their ability to suppress allogeneic immune responses has made them a promising candidate for cellular therapy in transplant rejection. Tregs are currently being tested as a potential therapeutic for kidney transplant recipients in the TWO Study, a phase II clinical study ongoing in Oxford. 

Myeloid cells can play pro- or anti-inflammatory roles in the immune response depending on their subtype, developmental stage and history of activation. Importantly, a specialized population of suppressive myeloid cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, has been associated with long-term graft survival in transplantation in rodent models but their role in transplant tolerance in humans is unclear.

Therefore, the pathways that engage the natural regulatory mechanism of the immune system have been the subject of intensive investigation with the ultimate goal of binding these pathways to achieve operational tolerance to donor alloantigens – long-term graft survival without the need for prolonged immunosuppressive therapy.  

I completed my Bachelor degree in Biochemistry at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. After my graduation, I worked as a Research Technologist at different laboratories such as the Stem Cell Therapy Lab at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, and the Cord Blood Bank at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), National Guard Hospital, Saudi Arabia, for several years. In the meanwhile, I obtained my Master's degree in Health Informatics at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences as I am interested in the intelligent use of information and technology and its application to science. I also hold another passion for Immunology, so I finally joined the Immunology group at KAIMRC, and worked hard to pursue my dream.