Frances Grudzinska

Frances Grudzinska

Research Training Fellow

I’m a respiratory clinical research fellow working at The University of Birmingham in The Institute of Inflammation and Ageing. I’ve been awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship by The Dunhill Medical Trust examining neutrophil function and bioenergetics in community acquired pneumonia and sepsis.

Community acquired pneumonia is common in older adults and is a leading cause of sepsis. In older adults it is associated with high mortality, and for the older adults that survive they are at high risk of readmission to hospital, with increased frailty and care needs. Neutrophils are one of the key white blood cells in fighting infection. We know that in healthy older adults their neutrophils aren’t able to fight infection as effectively as a younger adult and that if an older adult develops sepsis their neutrophils become paralysed and are unable to fight infection.

My project aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying this by examining how these cells generate energy. To do this I will be running a study recruiting older and younger adults with pneumonia and sepsis, plus a group of healthy older adults to examine the differences between their neutrophils.