Dr Allison Green

Ph.D., FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Immunology

Role at Hull York Medical School

Allison has served several important roles at HYMS. Notwithstanding her lecturing/tutorial responsibilities, Allison has been a involved in several School-wide citizenship roles.

2013-2016 Academic Theme Lead for the Applied Life Sciences. In this role she facilitated remodelling of the the MBBS programme to root science as a base from which medicine grows.

2013-2016 Deputy Lead Phase I, working with the Lead to deliver the Phase I curriculum.

2019 School-Wide Work Allocation Model. Allison was part of the team to develop and implement the model to encourage the principals of transparency, equity and flexibility for staff to manage their workload.

2020- Chair of the Mitigation and Exceptional Circumstances Committee. Allison is currently Chair of the MECC, overseeing alongside her committee and administrative support, student MEC claims.

Biography

Allison Green is a Senior Lecturer in Immunology. Previously she was Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science in the Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) and Hull York Medical School and joined the Centre in 2010. She obtained her BSc in Immunology from Glasgow University (UK), a PhD in Virology, Immunology and Vaccination at St. Andrews University (UK) and then moved to Yale School of Medicine (USA) to conduct postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Richard Flavell. Whilst here, she obtained a Juvenile Diabetes Research (JDRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by a JDRF Career Development Award. In 2001, she was recruited to Cambridge University (UK) to set up her own laboratory funded by a Wellcome Trust/JDRF Career Development Award and subsequently a Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science. In 2002, she was the first recipient of the GJ Thorbecke Award from the International Society for Leukocyte Biology in recognition of her work in inflammation and disease.

Career

  • St Andrew's University 
    PhD in Virology
  • Yale School of Medicine 
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    Juvenile Diabetes Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Juvenile Diabetes Research Fellowship Career Development Award
  • Cambridge University 
    Wellcome Trust/JDRF Career Development Fellow
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
  • University of York 
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship ( - Feb 2011)
    Senior Lecturer in Immunology (Feb 2011 - )
Research

Allison's research has focused on understanding why the immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to insulin insufficiency and type 1 diabetes. Her research programme has evolved over time, initially focused on events in the pancreas, now the research centres on events within the thymus that can precipitate autoimmunity.

The thymus plays a critical role in purging the immune system of immune cells (called T cells) that can attack our own tissues. Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) are central for purging of so-called autoreactive T cells, and loss of mTECs can lead to higher incidences of autoimmune disease. Allison's research team discovered that a relatively under-researched cell, the thymic B cell participates in the death of mTECs, promoting type 1 diabetes progression. The research team are expanding on this novel discovery, focusing on three main themes:

Thymic B cell ontogeny.
Present in the thymus from foetal age to elderly, there is much dispute on the source of thymic B cells as we age. We, and others, have evidence that thymic B cells develop in this organ. We are deciphering the cell types and signal pathways involved in thymic B cell ontogeny in comparison to the normal organ for B cell development- the bone marrow. Identification of a pathway unique to thymic B cell ontogeny may offer insights for a targeted approach to remove thymic B cells.

Thymic B cell function.
We know that antibodies produced from thymic B cells destroy mTECs, but we do not know by which mechanisms these antibodies perpetuate that negative outcome. We are particularly interested in the role of Complement, a part of the immune system that has been linked to Myasthenia Gravis- an autoimmune disease, where thymic B cells produce antibodies that target the acetyl choline receptor and requires Complement activity for disease manifestation.

In silco modelling of the thymic environment
We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to generate in silco models of the thymic microenvironment to help decipher the complex cellular interplay of the thymic B cells within the thymic environment, and lead to new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

We have been privileged to have our research supported by a number of Charities, and Research Council: Wellcome Trust, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diabetes UK, Jean Shanks Foundation, Wolfson Foundation Royal College of Physicians and Daphne Jackson Trust.

Teaching

Allison has contributed extensively to teaching on the Biomedical Sciences and MBBS Programmes. She consistently receives excellent feedback from students, and has been nominated for a series of awards from the York University Student Union:

Inspirational Lecturer of the Year (Highly Commended)
Supervisor of the Year
Teacher of the Year
In recognition of her teaching and desire to enhance the student experience, Allison was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award 2019.

MBBS
Phase I : SSIP in Autoimmune Diseases and Immunotherapy (Tutor)
Endocrine and the Reproductive System (Lecturer)

Biomedical Sciences (BMS BSc and iMSc)
Year 1 : 20 credit module- tutorials (tutor)
Year 2 : 20 credit module- Infection and Immunity (Module Lead, Lecturer)
20 credit module- Understanding Health and Disease (Lecturer)
Year 3 :10 credit module- Advanced Immunology (Lecturer to 2019)
40 credit Biology Research Project (Supervisor)
120 credits- Intercalation (Supervisor)

Masters : Health Sciences CYP Module (until 2015).

Publications

Visit Dr Allison Green's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications, browse activities and projects, explore connections, collaborations, related work and more.

Collaborations

Allison's research has focused on understanding why the immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to insulin insufficiency and type 1 diabetes. Her research programme has evolved over time, initially focused on events in the pancreas, now the research centres on events within the thymus that can precipitate autoimmunity.

The thymus plays a critical role in purging the immune system of immune cells (called T cells) that can attack our own tissues. Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) are central for purging of so-called autoreactive T cells, and loss of mTECs can lead to higher incidences of autoimmune disease. Allison's research team discovered that a relatively under-researched cell, the thymic B cell participates in the death of mTECs, promoting type 1 diabetes progression. The research team are expanding on this novel discovery, focusing on three main themes:

Thymic B cell ontogeny.
Present in the thymus from foetal age to elderly, there is much dispute on the source of thymic B cells as we age. We, and others, have evidence that thymic B cells develop in this organ. We are deciphering the cell types and signal pathways involved in thymic B cell ontogeny in comparison to the normal organ for B cell development- the bone marrow. Identification of a pathway unique to thymic B cell ontogeny may offer insights for a targeted approach to remove thymic B cells.

Thymic B cell function.
We know that antibodies produced from thymic B cells destroy mTECs, but we do not know by which mechanisms these antibodies perpetuate that negative outcome. We are particularly interested in the role of Complement, a part of the immune system that has been linked to Myasthenia Gravis- an autoimmune disease, where thymic B cells produce antibodies that target the acetyl choline receptor and requires Complement activity for disease manifestation.

In silco modelling of the thymic environment
We are taking an interdisciplinary approach to generate in silco models of the thymic microenvironment to help decipher the complex cellular interplay of the thymic B cells within the thymic environment, and lead to new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

We have been privileged to have our research supported by a number of Charities, and Research Council: Wellcome Trust, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Diabetes UK, Jean Shanks Foundation, Wolfson Foundation Royal College of Physicians and Daphne Jackson Trust.

Postgraduate research supervision

Self-funded MscRes and PhD requests are invited.

External roles

In addition to her roles within HYMS, Allison has served as an External Examiner for the School of Life Sciences, Keele University BSc and Pre-Masters in Biomedical Science,helping shape the School's assessment and feedback practices.

Allison promotes the equality and diversity agenda, and has served as a Reader for many years for the L'Oreal/UNESCO Women in Science Awards.

Allison is also an advocate for outreach activities; she has been invited to present her research at both national and international science festivals. Allison is also a key speaker at public events hosted by Diabetes UK and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Honours and awards

Allison has been privileged to be the first recipient of the GJ Thorbecke Award for her research into inflammatory-based disease. She was also rewarded with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Mary Jane Kugel Award for services to diabetes research.