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Cambridge Immunology Network



We have to give the very sad news that Dr Les Bluck passed away on the 14th of May. For enquiries about his research please speak to Dr Jules Griffin.

Physiological Modelling of Metabolic Risk

The PMMR programme investigates how the fate of dietary macronutrients, particularly carbohydrates and fats, in the post-absorptive state is altered in the progression to metabolic disease. This is achieved by the use and development of novel stable isotope methodologies to measure the post-prandial irregularities underlying diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the use of these technologies to study dietary interventions to prevent, slow or reverse the progression of these diseases.

Les has over twenty-five years of experience in mass spectrometry and its applications to chemical analysis and stable isotope tracer techniques. His principal interest is the application of mathematical modelling, including Bayesian methods, to the study of integrated physiology, in particular glucose and lipid metabolism, breast milk intake, and total energy expenditure. Les currently leads the physiological modelling and tracer research at HNR.

Prior studies have implicated MHCII (major histocompatibility complex Class II molecule) instability or low CLIP (class II-associated II peptide) affinity in autoimmune pathogenesis. The regulation of MHCII turnover in vivo is largely unexplored, however, due to a lack of methodology. To address this, heavy water (2H2O) is being used as a non-interfering label for studying in vivo the dynamics of proteins (by 2H labelling of nonessential amino acids) and, simultaneously, of the cells that harbour them (by 2H labelling of DNA).


Key publications: 

Alessandra De Riva, Mark C. Varley, Leslie J. Bluck, Anne Cooke, Michael J. Deery, and Robert Busch. Accelerated Turnover of MHC Class II Molecules in Nonobese Diabetic Mice Is Developmentally and Environmentally Regulated In Vivo and Dispensable for Autoimmunity J Immunol. 2013 90(12): 5961-5971

Dr Les  Bluck
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
MHC class II
stable isotope
mass spectrometry