Dr Michael Low

Dr Michael Low

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Dr Michael Low in the lab

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Dr
Michael
Low

MBBS BMedSci Melbourne

PhD Student

Division:

I am studying immune cells called plasma cells. These produce antibodies that help clear infections, provide long-lasting immunity, and protect from disease on vaccination. Despite their importance in protecting against infection, plasma cell development and biology is still poorly understood. My research aims to understand how cellular pathways allow plasma cells to be produced and to survive. 

In the wrong context, plasma cells can cause diseases such as in autoimmune conditions and cancers of plasma cells, called multiple myeloma. I am particularly interested in discovering how these pathways may be manipulated for treatment of patients in the future.

Research interest

I am looking into the pathways that control differentiation and survival in antibody producing plasma cells. In particular, I am looking at how these pathways are implicated in cancers of plasma cells (multiple myeloma). An initial stage of my research is to establish the models that are needed to investigate plasma cells in vivo and in vitro. 

We use cell transfer models, flow cytometry and ELISA assays to investigate plasma cell development in vivo. Similarly, using plasmacytoma cell lines as a source of plasma cells, we use western blot and ChIP analysis to understand plasma cell biology, as well as manipulating protein expression via shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 systems.