Dr McLean’s research program focuses on cytokine immunology and epithelial barrier dysfunction in gastrointestinal pathology, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and GI malignancy. IBD is a disabling lifelong condition and is increasing in incidence. Not all patients respond to, or are able to tolerate, currently available treatments. Therefore there is an unmet clinical need for new, safer treatments for IBD. Dr McLean has demonstrated that oral delivery of the immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin-27 (IL-27) is effective as a new therapy for IBD in pre-clinical mouse models of disease, through inhibition of multiple aspects of the innate and adaptive colonic immune responses. The lab is now translating this pre-clinical data to human tissue, characterising the impact of IL-27 on epithelial barrier healing using a human gastrointestinal tissue derived epithelial organoid model and defining the immunoregulatory capacity of IL-27 on human colon derived immune cell responses.