Epigenetic regulation of the immune system

Epigenetic regulation of the immune system

Project details

There are myriad different immune cells that are essential for protection from infections. Exactly what dictates the development and function of the different types of innate and adaptive immune cells necessary for protective immunity is still unclear. In this project we will examine how epigenetic modifications to DNA influence leukocyte development and function.

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence. Using cells deficient in chromatin-modifying factors and a diverse suite of cutting-edge technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, flow cytometry, high-resolution microscopy, genomics and whole genome epigenetic analysis, we will reveal how these factors participate in innate and adaptive immunity.

Further reading: Allan et al., Nature 2012; Allan & Nutt Immunological Reviews 2014

About our research group

Our lab aims to provide a basic understanding of how the immune system is formed and how it functions based on external and internal drivers. Specifically we are interested in how the epigenome controls immune cell development and function. We study this in the context of microbial and allergic disease models with the hope of finding ways to boost immune responses to infection or reduce the allergen-driven immune damage. 

In this project we will determine the role of chromatin-modifying proteins in the development and homeostasis of innate and adaptive lymphoid cells.



Dr Rhys Allan

Dr Rhys Allan
Laboratory Head
Christine Keenan profile pic
Molecular Immunology division

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