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Biography

Timothy Tree is a specialist in human T cell immunology with particular expertise in analyzing the function of regulatory T cells in human health and disease.  His research is funded by a range of research charities including Diabetes UK, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Helmsley Foundation, The European Union, as well as several pharmaceutical companies.

He studied Biochemistry at Imperial College London and then completed a PhD at the same institute funded by the World Health Organization investigating the role of the immune system in the pathology associated with infection with the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, which leads to river blindness. In 1995 Tim moved to King’s College London to embark on a program of research to investigate the role of the adaptive immune system on the development of the human T cell-mediated autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes (T1D).  

His research has been at the forefront of the development of technologies for studying immune function in T1D, in particular, the detection of islet-specific T cells, both as effectors and regulators, and the implementation of assays for these in the clinical setting. These studies have led to the identification of several novel populations of antigen-specific regulatory T cells, as well us uncovering an underlying defect in regulatory T cell function in individuals with type 1 diabetes. His laboratory is currently heavily involved in collaborative programmes deploying these technologies to study the natural history of T1D and the effect of immunotherapies in clinical trials.