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AshleyMoffettAshley Moffett

Current Job
October 2016 – present:    
Director of Research, Department of Pathology and King's College
Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Immunology,

Education & Training

  • 1970 B.A. Cambridge.
  • 1973 M.B. B.Chir. Cambridge
  •         Distinction in Surgery
            Distinction in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • 1975 M.R.C.P. (UK).
  • 1978 M.A. Cambridge
  • 1984 M.R.C.Path.
  • 1991 M.D. Cambridge:
            "Uterine large granular lymphocytes and embryonic implantation"
  • 2015 F.R.C.O.G. ad eundem
Previous appointments
Clinical Positions   
Aug 1973 - Jan 1980 Junior hospital positions in general medicine
Jan1980 - March 1987 Trained as a histopathologist
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge
Research Positions
April 1987 - Aug 1992              Research Associate, Department of Pathology,
University of Cambridge.
Jan 1993 - Sept 1997 Meres Senior Studentship for Medical Research,
St. Johns College, Cambridge.
Oct 1997 - Sept 2016 Fellow in Medical Sciences and Director of Clinical Studies,
King’s College, Cambridge
Professor of Reproductive Immunology,
Department of Pathology, Cambridge

Research Activity
My research has focussed on the cellular interactions occurring between maternal uterine cells, especially immune cells, and placental trophoblast cells that invade into the uterine mucosa in the first trimester.

In 1989, we described a population of lymphocytes present in the uterus at the time placentation that are phenotpyically and functionally quite distinct altohugh they belong to the Natural Killer (NK) cell lineage.

The uterine NK cells have receptors for invading extravillous trophoblast cells and can therefore recognise and respond to the fetal trophoblast. Particular combinations of genetic variants of maternal KIR and their fetal HLA-C ligands are assocaited with disorders of pregnancy like pre-eclampsia and recurrent miscarriage.

To develop experimental models that can be used to investigate these maternal/fetal interactions in vitro, we have generated endometrial and trophoblast organoids. These can be grown long term, frozen and thawed, and are genetically stable. We have also collaborated with Drs Sarah Teichmann and Roser Vento to define a cell atlas of all maternal and placental cell types in utero in the first trimester. The predicted interactions between these cells can be explored using our organoid systems.

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