Tracy Briggs, BSc., MBChB., MRCPCH, PhD

Dr

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Personal profile

Overview

I am Senior Clinical Lecturer at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

Background.

PhD

I completed my Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship in June 2012, in the laboratory of Professor Yanick Crow. My research focused on the rare Mendelian disorder Spondyloenchondrodysplasia (SPENCD). This immuno-osseous dysplasia is a Mendelian form of lupus. Following identification of the causative gene, ACP5, I conducted functional work to determine the role of the encoded protein Tartrate Resistant Acid Phosphatase (TRAP). I spent 5 months of my fellowship at The University of Washington, in the laboratory of Professor Elkon focusing on the autoimmune aspect of SPENCD. The Manchester Biomedical Research Council funded this placement. During my fellowship I was awarded University of Manchester Postgraduate Student of the Year and the Royal Society of Medicine, Alan Emery Genetics prize. This research continued for a further 2 years through a collaborative grant between The University of Manchester and The University of Washington. The two year grant was funded by the Alliance for Lupus research. 

NIHR Clinical Lecturer

I subsequently undertook an NIHR Clinical Lecturer position at the University of Manchester with a Clinical Contract at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine. During this time, I continued my research into Mendelian forms of lupus and autoimmune disease. I also studied mendelian forms of autoinflammatory disease and immunodeficiency. I was funded by the NIHR, Academy of Medical Sciences, Manchester BRC and a L'Oreal Women in Science Fellowship.

NIHR Transitional Research Fellow (TRF)

From November 2016-2018, I completed a two year NIHR TRF Fellowship; whilst a Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine. I undertook training in Clinical Pharmacology and a PG Cert in Clinical Trials and continued my research into autoinflammatory genetic disorders, especially those driven by type I interferons. 

Senior Clinical Lecturer at The University of Manchester

Since Nov 2018 I have held a split clinical and academic post. My research focus continues to be clinical, translational and research studies relating to autoinflammatory and autoimmune genetic disorders, particularly those driven by type I interferons. I also work on disorders associated with primary immunodeficiency. My clinical work as an Honorary Consultant at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, Manchester focus on immunogenetics, incluidng immunodeficiency and autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. I am funded by a Medical Research Foundation, Emerging Leaders in Lupus prize, the Manchester BRC and Janssen Pharma.

Biography

I qualified in Medicine in 2003, from The University of Liverpool. I obtained my MRCPCH in 2006 and then started my Clinical Genetics training in Leeds. In 2008, I obtained a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship and I obtained my PhD in 2012, at Manchester University. I obtained my CCT in Genetic Medicine in August 2016 and at this time was also awarded a two year NIHR Transitional Fellowship, Senior Clinical Lectureship at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant in Genomic Medicine at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester. After my fellowship, on receipt of the Emerging Leaders in Lupus Prize (second prize) from the Medical Research Foundation I continued my work as a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Genomic Medicine.

Research interests

My research focus is the identification and study of single gene forms of autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and an interrogation of the pathological insights such rare but highly penetrant causes of lupus provide. A common theme of this work is the role of type I interferons in autoimmunity. 

My current interests are in both autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders, especially those driven by single gene disorders affecting the innate immune system.

My collaborations

Professor Yanick Crow, University of Edinburgh and IMAGINE Institut, Paris.

Professor Keith Elkon, University of Washington, Department of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Professor Ian Bruce, University of Manchester

Professor Sophie Hambleton, University of Newcastle

Dr John Reynolds, University of Brimingham

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

NIHR BioResource Steering Committee - Lead for Manchester 

Member of the Expert group on the management of autoinflammatory diseases, UK

British Society of Human Genetics

Skeletal Dysplasia Group

Medical Women's Federation

Neurogenetics Group

 

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy

MBChB

MRCPCH

PhD

Certificate in Medical Genetics

Postgraduate certificate in Medical Leadership  

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Postgraduate certificate in Clinical Trials (Dist)  

Certificate in Human Pharmacology 

Teaching

Genomic Medicine MSc Project Module Lead: Sept 2015- Sept 2017.

Academic Clinical Fellow Training Lead (Integrated Academic Training Programme): July 2017-2020.

BSc, MSc and PhD student projects.

MBCHB, BSc & MSc teaching 

Prizes and awards

Medical Research Foundation Prize Emerging Leaders Prize 2017, Second place winner

The Henry Kunkel Meeting, Research poster prize (2015)

The L’Oréal UK and Ireland Fellowship For Women in Science (2014)

British Paediatric Dermatology Society, Research Platform presentation prize (2014)

David W Smith Workshop, Montreal, Peter Duncan Fellow Award for the Best Platform presentation (2013)         

The Royal Society of Medicine, Alan Emery Prize for the submission of the best-published research article in medical genetics (2011)              

The University of Manchester, Distinguished Achievement Medal – Post Graduate Student of the Year (2011) 

     

Social responsibility

Engaging with the public regarding genetics, my research and to promote the role of women in science is something I am very passionate about. I provide regular genetics education sessions at a local Manchester primary school and have given interactive teaching to Beaver scout troops. I conducted a live radio interview promoting women in science on BBC Radio, have given an interview to UNESCO about my work and I have written several pieces for the media and scientific journals regarding my research and women in science. 

I take part in patient days for patients with primary immunodeficiencies and have run focus groups for patients and families with type I interferon driven disorders. I actively involve patients and families actively in the planning, conduct and dissemination of my research.

I have undertaken voluntary work with The World Health Organisation COVID therapeutics working group and I work with clinicians and academics working to understand Long Covid and its impact on both children and adults.

I am deeply concerned about the current climate emergency. I am a member of the Genomics Green Team at MCGM and I volunteer for the Ribble Rivers Trust and British Trust of Ornithology. 

     

My group

Current PhD student supervision

Ebtehal Sheikh. Genetic and immunological basis of rare primary immunodeficiency diseases. Co-supervisor. Self-Funded. 2019-2023.

Rodrigo Diaz Pino.Macrophages as sensors and responders to danger signals that trigger inflammation. Co-supervisor. Self-Funded. 2020-2023.

 Dr Anastasia Vasiliki Madenidou. Manchester Lupus Extended Autoimmune Phenotype (LEAP) Study: Towards Targeted Therapeutics in Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases (SARDs), Currently funded by Janssen Research & Development LLC. 2022-2025

Current PhD Students Advisor

Dr Sarah Dyball. Toll Like Receptor Blockade in Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases: a Stratified Medicine Approach to Drug Development. MRC Pharm funded. 2020-2023

Previous PhD Students co-supervised. 

Dr Charlie Rowlands. Use of genomic and transcriptomic approaches in the diagnosis of rare inherited disease linked to splicing mutations. NPIF MRC and Qiagen. 2017-2021. £91,868.

Dr Sarah Withers. Zebrafish disease modelling identifies a link between type I interferon signalling and cholesterol dysregulation in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome and brain endothelial cells. NPIF MRC. 2018-2022. £29,500.

Dr Melissa Tordoff. Investigating the genetic architecture of juvenile onset common complex diseases. IHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Versus Arthritis. 2018-2021.

 

 

Further information

Coaching and mentoring 

I am Coaching and mentoring lead for the Manchester Integrated Clinical Academic Training Programme, I am the BRC rare disease theme Training and Capacity Building Team Lead and I work with the UoM Fellowship Academy to support Clinical Academics. Via these routes I provide 1 to 1 and group support for Clinical Academics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Areas of expertise

  • QH426 Genetics
  • QR180 Immunology

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