Professor Daniel Gray – Immunology division

15/05/2024 1:00 pm - 15/05/2024 2:00 pm
Davis Auditorium

WEHI Wednesday Seminar hosted by Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Daniel Gray

Division Head, Immunology division – Infection, Inflammation & Immunity Theme, WEHI


New insights on old problems: immune regulation and thymic involution


Davis Auditorium

Join via SLIDO enter code #WEHIWednesday

Including Q&A session



Many mechanisms have evolved to ensure that the immune system does not attack our own tissues. The goal of the Gray lab is to understand how these mechanisms work so we can create new ways to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency. We have a particular focus on the various cell death processes that govern T cell responses.


All T cells arise in the thymus. Yet, despite its central importance to immunity to infection and cancers, the thymus is the first organ in the body to undergo age-related atrophy, termed involution. No one knows how or why the thymus should involute in adults. It is a major problem in adult patients receiving haematopoietic stem/progenitor cell transplants because the inability to make new T cells leaves them vulnerable to life threatening infections. We discovered a novel aspect of involution that may offer strategies for thymic regeneration to restore T cells and immune function.


An important family of T cells produced in the thymus are FOXP3+ regulatory or Treg cells. Treg cells police the activity of other immune cells and are essential to prevent autoimmune disease. They also lodge in tissues where they control key metabolic and healing responses. We have found a foible in the molecular control of Treg cell survival, whereby they become highly sensitive to a form of cell death termed necroptosis, but only under certain scenarios or tissues. We present evidence that genetic or pharmacological induction of Treg necroptosis can control immune outcomes.


All welcome! 

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