Quantitation of human T cell expansion in health and disease

Quantitation of human T cell expansion in health and disease

Project details

The balanced interplay of lymphocyte growth, survival and differentiation is essential for a healthy immune system. Upon antigen encounter the cells rapidly undergo multiple rounds of division, before stopping to divide and eventually die. In patients with immune disorders, this balance is disturbed so that they mediate an immune response that is either too strong (autoimmunity) or insufficient (primary immunodeficiency).

This project will use quantitative cellular and molecular assays established in the Hodgkin laboratory (Marchingo Science 2014(346):1123) to measure the regulation of the proliferative response and molecular expression kinetics in human T cells. Understanding the mechanisms and molecules controlling the expansion of human T cell will help understand how immune disorders form and may help to develop therapeutics targeting these processes.

About our research group

The Hodgkin lab studies the immune system with the goal of building computer models that can be used to improve vaccine development and treatments for immune disorders.  Experimental work to inform this effort focuses on the control of immune cell fates such as death, division and differentiation. Typical experiments in the lab use flow cytometry and direct video imaging to measure the effect of changing conditions such as cytokines, altered genetic makeup, or the impact of pharmacological agents on individual cells and how they vary in a population. 

The concepts of this project are based on preliminary data from Dr Heinzel and Dr Bryant, both internationally-trained experts in human immunology. The research tools they have developed together with Professor Phil Hodgkin will provide a highly competitive advantage in investigation of the causes of primary immunodeficiency.


Susanne Heinzel profile
Immunology division
Vanessa Bryant in the lab
Immunology division

Project Type:

Researchers looking at mathematical equations

Our researchers have defined for the first time how the size of the immune response is controlled during infection, or in response to vaccination.