Imperial College London
Eric Bywater Centre
Rheumatology section
3. Marina Botto, professor, group leader
     Imperial College
     Rheumathology Section Eric Baywaters Centre
     Faculty of Medicine
     Imperial College , Hammersmith Campus
     London W12 ONN
     United Kingdom
     Fax: +44 20 8743 3109
     Email address:

Imperial College London - The Faculty of Medicine
was established in 1997, bringing together all t he major West London medical schools into one world-class institution. The Faculty is one of Europe's largest medical institutions - in terms of its staff and student population and its research income. Recently the Faculty of Medicine has been ranked 4th in world for biomedicine. For more information please have a look at our website:

The group led by Marina Botto is part of the Faculty of Medicine and is located on the main clinical research campus of the Imperial College at Hammersmith Hospital. In the laboratory there is a broad spectrum of research with a particular emphasis on the application of the modern genetic techniques to questions relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of disease and developing new approaches to treatment. The group was the first to develop methods for studying the clearance and formation of soluble immune complexes in vivo in humans and to demonstrate abnormalities of immune complex processing in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In the last ten years we have developed mice deficient in complement proteins, including C1q, C2, Factor B, CD59, CD93, Factor H, and in the serum amyloid P component (SAP). Mice with C1q deficiency and SAP deficiency develop lupus-like diseases and are powerful models for the analysis of the mechanisms predisposing to the development of systemic autoimmunity. We have extensive expertise in the genetic analysis of SLE, both in mice and humans. We were the first to describe a clear association between an in vivo defect in clearance of apoptotic cells and the development of autoimmunity and spontaneous renal damage. We have also developed models of inflammatory injury in mice and studied how complement deficiency affects the resolution of inflammation. In particular the analysis of Factor H deficient mice, led by Dr MC Pickering, who is part of the research team, demonstrated that uncontrolled complement activation is essential for the development of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. The group has considerable experience in spontaneous and experimental models of nephritis with renal histological analysis supervised by Prof. HT Cook, Renal Histopathologist, who is part of the research team. The laboratory is fully equipped with access to a modern transgenic facility, an embryonic stem cell laboratory, and extensive tissue culture, molecular biologicy and sequencing facilities. There are first rank computing and library facilities. The Hammersmith Campus, in which the investigators work, has core facilities in flow cytometry, DNA technology, microarray analysis, proteomic analysis and animal experimentation. The laboratory led by Prof Botto is part of the Rheumatology Section. This Section is based on the Hammersmith campus and for more information please have a look at the website: 

Appointed research fellows

Experienced researcher: Danielle Paixao-Cavalcante, Brazil
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 1-5-2007 to 30-4-2009

Early stage researcher: Andrea Cortini, Italy
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 1-11-2008 to 31-5-2009

Early stage researcher
: Daniele Carassiti, Italy
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 15-11-2006 to 20-6-2008

Early stage researcher: Jennifer Fish, USA
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 1-9-2005 to 21-10-2006

Publications originating from the IMDEMI project

Paix„o-Cavalcante D, Hanson S, Botto M, Cook HT, Pickering MC. Factor H facilitates the clearance of GBM bound iC3b by controlling C3 activation in fluid phase. Mol Immunol 46: 1942-1950, 2009. (PDF)

Paix„o-Cavalcante D
, Botto M, Cook HT, Pickering MC. Shiga toxin-2 results in renal tubular injury but not thrombotic microangiopathy in heterozygous factor H-deficient mice. Clin Exp Immunol 155: 339-347, 2009. (PDF)

Pickering MC, Macor P, Fish J, Durigutto P, Bossi F, Petry F, Botto M, Tedesco F. Complement C1q and C8beta deficiency in an individual with recurrent bacterial meningitis and adult-onset systemic lupus erythematosus-like illness. Rheumatology 47:1588-1589, 2008. (PDF)

Rose KL, Paixao-Cavalcante D, Fish J, Manderson AP, Malik TH, Bygrave AE, Lin T, Sacks SH, Walport MJ, Cook HT, Botto M, Pickering MC. Factor I is required for the development of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis in factor H-deficient mice. J Clin
118: 608-618, 2008. (PDF)

Ph D Thesis

Andrea Cortini, Serum profiling and autoantibodies identification in Multiple Sclerosis using epitope and CSF IgG phage display libraries
Date of PhD defense: 27 March 2009

Publications Marina Botto (link to PubMed)

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