Oliver Angus Garden

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BVetMed (Veterinary Medicine (distinction in Medicine))
Royal Veterinary College, UK, 1993.
PhD (Gastrointestinal Immunology)
Royal Veterinary College, UK, 1998.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Oliver was until recently a member of the Small Animal Internal Medicine team within the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA), seeing dogs and cats with all manner of medical problems. He has now moved to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where is the Henry and Corrine R Bower Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Clinical Studies - Philadelphia. His particular clinical interests include gastrointestinal and immune-mediated disease; Oliver has contributed chapters on immune-mediated disease and gastrointestinal immunology to two widely read textbooks in the field.

Oliver is also involved in the teaching and supervision of both Junior and Senior Clinical Training Scholars (Interns and Residents) in the QMHA and now the Ryan Hospital for Companion Animals, having contributed to the training of over 40 Junior and over 55 Senior Clinical Training Scholars over the years.

Oliver was a regular contributor to the RVC's schools outreach programme, including the 'RVC on Tour' and the BSc (Bioveterinary Sciences) Open Day for school children. He also volunteers for British Society for Immunology public engagement activities (e.g. The Secret Life of Snot at the Big Bang Fair, ExCel Centre, London). He passionately believes in the importance of clear communication of scientific issues to the greater public and his research was featured in a recent podcast ('RVC 50') and RVC Annual Research Highlights event. He has lectured to veterinarians and veterinary nurses in the UK, USA and Asia – both general practitioners and specialists.

Oliver's paper on the haematological phenotypes of different dog breeds, published in PLOS ONE, has been featured in a recent Press Release - RVC study provides large-scale analysis of blood cells in dog breeds. This work not only has immediate implications for canine medical practice, but also has far-reaching ramifications for our understanding of the genetic determinants of blood cells in health. This paper has been downloaded over 50 times from Oliver's ResearchGate page.

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Description of Research Expertise



Professor Oliver Garden’s laboratory, historically based at the Camden Campus of the Royal Veterinary College and now at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, specialises in cellular immunology, with a specific expertise in regulatory T cell (Treg) and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) biology. Oliver started his laboratory with the aid of a Wellcome Trust Advanced Fellowship in 2001 within the Department of Immunology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, following post-doctoral training at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and a Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Successful BSc, MSc and PhD projects

To date, six PhD students, five BSc students and 14 MSc students have successfully graduated following projects carried out within Oliver’s laboratory. Of the MSc students, ten gained Distinctions for their projects and all but two have completed – or are currently completing – successful PhD projects. Of the PhD students, all completed their theses within three or four years (depending on the programme) and have carved out successful careers in research, medical practice or (in one case) patent law.

The laboratory has also employed two Research Technicians, who both moved on to prestigious Research Associate posts – one at King’s College London and the other at University College London – following the conclusion of their contracts, and one postdoctoral Fellow (Dr Dammy Pinheiro), who has moved on to a senior postdoctoral post within the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading.

The laboratory is currently home to two PhD students, one of whom (Julia Ying Wu) is studying the role of lymphoid and myeloid regulatory cells in canine diffuse large cell B cell lymphoma and the other of whom (Michael Denyer) is studying the evolutionary phylogeny of immune tolerance in collaboration with Dr Adrian Shepherd at Birkbeck; Michael has already submitted his first manuscript for publication, so has got off to a flying start! The laboratory hosts from one to three undergraduate or postgraduate students – undertaking BSc, BVetMed or MSc degrees – at any one time. We are also delighted to announce the recruitment of Dr Michelle Goulart, who has joined the laboratory from the University of Oregon as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cancer Immunology, and are proud to be collaborating with Dr Dammy Pinheiro, a Visiting Scientist from the University of Reading, who completed her PhD and a postdoctoral Fellowship in Oliver's laboratory.

Key expertise and funding

Key techniques for which Oliver’s laboratory has specific expertise include T cell culture, including sophisticated Treg assays in vitro; multi-colour analytical flow cytometry; ELISAs and enhanced electrochemiluminescent assays of a number of Th1 and Th2 cytokines; and molecular biological techniques, including PCR, cloning and transduction of constructs into mammalian cells.

Total extra-mural grant income since 2003 has been ≈ £1.6m, including industrial sources, the Medical Research Council, Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM), Italian Ministry of Health, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC), Wellcome Trust, and Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT). Current funding includes grants from the PPCT and various commercial sponsors.

Delivering for industry

Oliver’s laboratory has successfully worked with six major industrial partners over the past eight years, consistently delivering on-time and within budget – for both product-orientated projects and blue-sky research. The laboratory has a dynamic, forward-looking, innovative and committed work ethic – with an unquestionable dedication to its team members, to its academic funders and to its industrial partners.

The biennial Treg/Th Cell Symposium

Oliver has been the coordinator for a biennial series of one-day symposia "Treg: Regulatory T Cells and T Helper Cells", the first one of which (March 2012) focused on ontogeny, plasticity and clinical applications. See the Proceedings notes for the first of these exciting events, published in Immunology. These meetings have been organised with the help of the RVC Continuing Professional Development Unit. Six world-class speakers came to the RVC to share their research findings in March of 2012, supported by three short oral communications and a number of poster presentations by PhD students and post-doctoral scientists.

The second of these exciting symposia was held at the RVC on 25th April 2014. Speakers included Professors Joachim Schultze, Awen Gallimore, Lucy Walker and Anne Cooke, and Drs Jeff Davies and Megan MacLeod. Please see "Treg: Regulatory T Cells and T Helper Cells" for details. Proceedings notes were published in Immunology, as well as a meeting review by Julia Wu in Immunology News.

Research awards

Two of Oliver's publications have been recognised by prestigious international awards:

(1) His review of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis, for which the first-named author is Dan Lewis, won an award for being one of the top five most downloaded publications in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2013, being downloaded a total of 6,372 times in this time period.

(2) His study of duodenal lesions in diet-responsive chronic enteropathy, for which the first-named author is David Walker, won a European Emesis Council / European Society of Comparative Gastroenterology award for the best gastrointestinal publication from a European research group in 2013.

Selected Publications

Swann, JW, Woods, K, Wu, Y, Glanemann, B and Garden, OA: (2016) Characterisation of the immunophenotype of dogs with primary immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia. PLOS ONE 11(12): e0168296.

Singh, Y, Garden, OA, Florian, L and Cobb, BS: (2016) Retroviral transduction of helper T cells as a genetic approach to study mechanisms controlling their differentiation and function. Journal of Visualized Experiments Nov 4 (117): doi: 10.3791/54698.

Giuliano, A, Swift, R, Arthurs, C, Marote, G, Abramo, F, McKay, J, Thomson, C, Beltran, M, Millar, M, Preistnall, S, Dobson, J, Costantino-Casas, F, Petrou, T, McGonnell, IM, Davies, AJ, Weetman, M, Garden, OA, Masters, JR, Thrasivoulou, C and Ahmed, A: (2016) Quantitative expression and co-localization of Wnt signaling related proteins in feline squamous cell carcinoma. PLOS ONE 11(8): e0161103.

Fortuna, L, Relf, J, Chang, YM, Hibbert, A, Martineau, HM* and Garden, OA*: (2016) Prevalence of FoxP3+ cells in canine tumours and lymph nodes correlates positively with glucose transporter 1 expression. Journal of Comparative Pathology 155(2-3): 171-180 [*Dual last authorship]

Marconato, L, Polton, G, Sabattini, S, Dacasto, M, Garden, OA, Grant, I, Henrickx, T, Henriques, J, Lubas, G, Morello, E, Stefanello, D, Comazzi, S; European Lymphoma Network: (2016) Conformity and controversies in the diagnosis, staging and follow-up evaluation of canine nodal lymphoma: a systematic review of the last 15 years of published literature. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology doi: 10.1111/vco.12244

Chang, Y-M, Hadox, E, Szladovits, B and Garden, OA: (2016) Serum biochemical phenotypes in the domestic dog. PLOS ONE 11(2): e0149650.

Singh, Y, Garden, OA, Lang, F and Cobb, BS: (2016) MicroRNAs regulate T-cell production of interleukin-9 and identify hypoxia-inducible factor-2-alpha as an important regulator of T helper 9 and regulatory T-cell differentiation. Immunology 149(1): 74-86.

Denyer, MP, Pinheiro, DY, Shepherd, AJ* and Garden, OA*: (2016) Missed, not missing: Phylogenomic evidence for the existence of avian FoxP3. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0150988 [*Dual last and corresponding authorship]

Comazzi, S, Avery, PR, Garden, OA, Riondato, F, Rütgen, B, Vernau, W; European Lymphoma Network: (2016) European canine lymphoma network consensus recommendations for reporting flow cytometry in canine hematopoietic neoplasms. Cytometry B Clinical Cytometry doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.21382

Carney, K, Chang, Y-M, Wilson, S, Calnan, C, Reddy, PS, Chan, W-Y, Gilmartin, T, Hernandez, G, Schaffer, L, Head, SR, Morley, J, de Mestre, A, Affleck, K and Garden, OA: (2016) Regulatory T cell-intrinsic amphiregulin is dispensable for suppressive function. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 137(6): 1907-1909

Singh, Y, Garden, OA, Lang, F and Cobb, BS: (2015) MicroRNA-15b/16 enhances the induction of regulatory T cells by regulating the expression of Rictor and mTOR. Journal of Immunology 195(12): 5667-5677.

Pinheiro, D, Chang, YM, Bryant, H, Szladovits, B, Dalessandri, T, Davison, LJ, Yallop, E, Mills, E, Leo, C, Lara, A, Stell, A, Polton, G and Garden, OA: (2014) Dissecting the regulatory microenvironment of a large animal model of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: evidence of a negative prognostic impact of FOXP3+ T cells in canine B cell lymphoma. PLOS ONE 9(8): e105027.

Ferreira, C, Palmer, D, Blake, K, Garden, OA and Dyson, J: (2014) Reduced regulatory T cell diversity in NOD mice is linked to early events in the thymus. Journal of Immunology 192(9): 4145-4152.

Lawrence, J, Chang, YM, Szladovits, B, Davison, LJ and Garden, OA: (2013) Breed-specific hematological phenotypes in the dog: a natural resource for the genetic dissection of hematological parameters in a Mammalian species. PLOS ONE 8(11): e81288 [IF 3.73]

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Last updated: 10/20/2017
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