Dr Bronwen Burton
I am a Teaching Fellow in Immunology, committed to communicating my enthusiasm for the subject to students using evidence-based approaches to support learning. As Senior Tutor for the Biomedical Sciences BSc programme, I coordinate Academic Personal Tutoring, supporting academic personal development for undergraduates as they transition through university.
Immunology is a rapidly evolving research area with significant impact on the field of medicine. It is now clear that dysregulated immune responses contribute to a wide range of human diseases, from autoimmunity, allergy and cancer, to many common diseases not generally considered to be immune-mediated, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
As a Teaching Fellow in Immunology, my research background in immune regulation is invaluable for supporting students studying in the field. My research has focussed on manipulating T cell responses for the treatment of human disease, using immunotherapy to re-introduce immune tolerance in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. I want to show students the essential value of studying immunology, and how advances in our understanding of basic immune processes have informed the development of novel approaches for the treatment of human disease. These include emerging technologies as well as diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
I aim to inspire the next generation of immunologists, using evidence-based approaches to support student learning.
I teach immunology from a basic level through to entirely research-led material, dominated by recent advances in the field. I want to make immunology accessible to different groups of learners, from foundation level to undergraduate and postgraduate students. I am the Deputy Programme Director for the MSc in Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences run from the NHSBT site at Filton, where I work with partners from the NHSBT to deliver this exceptional programme which offers a balance of basic and applied science. As the Outreach Officer for the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, I am also committed to engaging children and members of the public with science and the research going on in the School. I take part in a number of events each year which aim to enthuse children and raise aspirations, showing that careers in science can be accessible to all.
I’m interested in innovation in education and how we can use evidence-based practice to better support learners. I was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy having completed the University’s ‘Cultivating Research and Teaching Excellence’ (CREATE) level two scheme for academics. As part of the programme, I carried out a research project investigating methods to support international students as they make the transition to Higher Education. Supporting students in the transition to University continues to be one of my main educational interests, particularly in my role as Senior Tutor. I aim to understand how staff and students can build supportive and inclusive environments which allow students to become resilient and independent learners, equipped with the skills needed to thrive beyond university. I am also interested in how we can use technology to enhance learning, either through virtual learning environments or using technologies to encourage active learning.
Immunology is a rapidly evolving and exciting subject to study with significant scope for interdisciplinary working.
Breakthroughs in the field of immunology mean that students trained in the field are in demand, with new opportunities for immunologists emerging in academia and industry (read more here).
Find further publications in Explore Bristol Research
- Britton GJ, Ambler R, Clark DJ, Hill EV, Tunbridge HM, McNally KE, Burton BR, Butterweck P, Sabatos-Peyton C, Hampton-O'Neil LA, Verkade P, Wülfing C, Wraith DC. PKCθ links proximal T cell and Notch signaling through localized regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Elife (2017) 31;6. pii: e20003.
- Hill EV, Ng TH, Burton BR, Oakley CM, Malik K, Wraith DC. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 controls IL-10 expression in CD4+ effector T-cell subsets through epigenetic modification of the IL-10 promoter. European Journal of Immunology (2015), 45:1103-15
- Burton BR, Britton GJ, Fang H, Verhagen J, Smithers B, Sabatos-Peyton CA, Carney LJ, Gough J, Strobel S, Wraith DC. Sequential transcriptional changes dictate safe and effective antigen-specific immunotherapy. Nature Communications (2014), 5:4741
- Ng TH, Britton GJ, Hill EV, Verhagen J, Burton BR, Wraith DC. Regulation of adaptive immunity; the role of interleukin-10. Frontiers in Immunology (2013), 4:129