The project entitled ‘Deep Phenotyping’ focused on improving the current understanding of symptoms related to myasthenia gravis. A phenotype is a clinical term that means an observable characteristic, or symptoms, such as muscle fatigue or diplopia, for example.

These phenotypes can be good indicators of disease progression, but there required to be a detailed clinical and immunological study to identify trends amongst a cohort of patients. This project utilised a group of 144 volunteer patients with a mixture of late and early-onset MG. A previous project funded by myaware had already produced a timeline comparing presentation of the first MG symptom in a patient and their worst composite score. A composite score is used by clinicians to measure the clinical status of patients with MG and can be an indicator of severity for the disease.

Dr Philip Ambrose took immune cell samples from the blood of early and late-onset MG patients and used previously identified biomarkers to study several characteristics of the cells. Dr Ambrose also measured the rate of activation in T cells when grown alongside a set of medications that are known to block this process. T cells generally help the immune system produce autoantibodies, but this happens with errors in the case of MG patients. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treating MG patients with differing timelines of disease onset. By assessing these different drugs and their effect on T cell activation, Dr Ambrose hoped to progress the stratification and personalisation of treatments available to patients with MG.

To read more about Dr Ambrose’s clinical research, click here to visit his page on the ResearchGate website.

Past Research Projects