The matching of donor bone marrow in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is of critical importance to successful engraftment and long-term success for the treatment of a number of haematological malignancies including acute myeloid leukaemia.
Killer-cell Immunoglobulin- like receptors (KIRs) which are expressed on Natural Killer (NK) cells and T cells are important players in this landscape. Firstly, KIRs have overlapping ligand specificity with the T cell receptor (namely the Human Leukocyte Antigen [HLA] ligand) and thus are important checkpoint molecules for T cells. Secondly, KIRs are pivotal to the development and cytotoxic function of NK cells.
This project centres on KIR3DL1 polymorphism and how it translates to improved outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of haematological malignancy. Combining functional and clinical data, the aim is to understand KIR in bone marrow donor selection for HSCT treatment of AML.
The overarching goal is to develop the tools to utilise high-resolution genotyping of KIR and HLA from donors and recipients to improve HSCT treatment of AML.