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MicroRNA pathway control of T cell activation

MicroRNA pathway control of T cell activation

PhD/Honours project

Activation of T cells by cognate antigens leads to cell proliferation and acquisition of effector functions. This is necessary for generating immune responses capable of eliminating potential pathogens. The process of T cell activation is highly regulated in order to integrate a range of signals into an appropriate response. Essentially, this involves the activation of signalling cascades originating from the T cell receptor and other cell surface molecules, which converge on transcription factors that activate or repress the transcription of different genes. An additional layer of potential complexity is the role of microRNAs. These are tiny RNAs that regulate expression at the level of mRNA translation. Preliminary data indicates that the expression of microRNAs is highly dynamic, with profound changes occurring upon T cell activation. This project will investigate if/how microRNAs are necessary for T cell activation, and will employ a range of animal models and experimental techniques available.

References:
Zhang (2016), J Autoimmun, 68:52-61.
Skinner (2014), PLoS One, 9:e88997.
Chong (2008), J Exp Med, 205:2005-17.

Supervised by:

  • Dr Mark Chong
  • Disease Focus:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Research Unit:

  • Genomics and immunology