Andrew Filby

European Guest Session: UK

Thursday, September, 30th, 2021: 10:00am – 11:00am

A cellular, molecular and spatial analysis of post-mortem lung tissue from COVID19 patients by Image Cytometry techniques reveals a complex interplay between the immune system and virus

Innovation, Methodology and Application Research Theme, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, UK


The current COVID19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV2 has led to over 185 million cases and more than 4 million deaths worldwide (as of 08/07/2021, source WHO).  While there has been a significant effort to understand how the virus infects individuals and why some people are either resistant, suffer mild symptoms or sadly die, the underlying mechanisms remains unclear.  What is evident is that the behaviours and actions of the host immune system likely determines the outcome of SARS-CoV2 infection with several organs affected by severe immune-pathology.  One major site of damage is the lung and as such we have used cutting-edge spatial cytometry technologies to analyse the phenotypic and spatial relationships of immune cell subsets, virus and structures using post-mortem samples from individuals who died from COVDI19.  The cohort is one of the largest and most comprehensively clinically annotated in the world and we are able to link these data to the single cell/molecular readouts.  Using this approach we have uncovered as yet unappreciated cellular and molecular signatures of disease progression and severity that will inform future treatments and therapies.  In this talk Dr Filby will give an overview of these efforts as part of the UK Covid Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC).


Dr Andrew Filby is currently the director of the Cytometry and Single Cell platform at Newcastle University in the UK.  He also heads up one of the new cross-cutting research themes within the Faculty of Medical Sciences focused on “Innovation, Methodology and Application” (IMA).  He specialises in single cell technologies and their applications in human development, health and disease.  Over the past year, he has worked as part of the UK-Covid Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) to deliver on a project aimed to understand the cellular, molecular and spatial signatures in the lungs of patients who have died from COVD19.  He is also a current International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) council member and former “Shared Resource Laboratory Emerging Leader”.  Dr Filby is a member of the Cytometry Part A editorial board and was the recipient of the 2019 Royal Microscopical Society medal for Flow Cytometry.  He publishes his methodological developments and collaborative studies in several high impact journals and is a member of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative.



Twitter: @NewcastleFCCF


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