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Discovering new pathways controlling T lymphocyte development and autoimmunity

Discovering new pathways controlling T lymphocyte development and autoimmunity

PhD/Honours project

T lymphocytes are central players in the adaptive immune system and comprise of different subsets with distinct functions. These include CD8+ cytotoxic T cells that are responsible for destroying virus-infected or tumour cells, CD4+ helper T cells that are responsible for coordinating immune responses, and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells that maintain immune homeostasis. T cells differentiate in the thymus from multipotent precursors via a highly controlled process, and are dependent on a range of genetic pathways that remain poorly understood. To better define the pathways involved, we have employed microarray and next generation sequencing analysis of key stages in T cell development. This has led to the identification of novel pathways that may potentially be important. This project will investigate the role of these novel pathways in T cell development and in diseases of the immune system, such as autoimmunity and immune deficiency. This project will employ a range of genomic, molecular and cellular techniques/technologies.

References:
Koay (2016), Nat Immunol, 17:1300-11
Collins (2011), Immunity, 34:303-14
Chong (2003), Immunity, 18:475-87

Supervised by:

  • Dr Mark Chong
  • Disease Focus:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Research Unit:

  • Genomics and immunology