Careers & Students

How to detect a T cell’s response to autoantigen?

PhD/Honours project

The goal of the research undertaken in the Mannering Lab is to identify the antigens recognized by human T cells implicated in the immune pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. We take a functional approach to identifying antigens; this means that we identify antigens based on a T cell’s response. Traditionally this has been done using primary T-cell clones. These are T cells isolated from the blood, or more recently the pancreatic islets, which are grown and characterized in vitro. Unfortunately, primary T cells cannot be grown indefinitely in vitro. To circumvent this problem we have developed T-cell avatars, where the T-cell receptor (TCR) from a primary T cell is cloned and transduced into a cell line. These avatars, which can be grown indefinitely are then used to analyse the TCR’s specificity. However, we need robust and sensitive reporters that can indicate when a TCR has recognized an antigen.

In addition to SVI Top-Up Scholarships, students working on this project may be eligible for top-up awards from the Australian Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Supervised by:

  • A/Prof Stuart Mannering
  • Disease Focus:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Research Unit:

  • Human immunology
  • For further information about this project, contact: [email protected]