T lymphocytes: how memories are made

T lymphocytes: how memories are made

Project details

Our lab is developing a new theory of cell fate regulation based on competition within individual cells for different outcomes such as death, division and differentiation. Experimental work to inform this new theory requires measurement of immune cell fates in single cells using flow cytometry or single cell imaging. 

We have recently discovered a simple numerical and timing rule for how naive CD8 T cells integrate signals determining the number of times they divide before returning to the resting state (Marchingo et al; Science. 2014, 346:1123 and Heinzel et al. Nat. Immunol. 2017;18:96)).

We now want to investigate how these rules affect the differentiation into effector or memory cells and whether similar rules govern the expansion of memory cells upon reactivation. We aim to test this in in-vitro systems and translate these findings to in-vivo pathogen models.

 

About our research group

The Hodgkin lab studies the immune system with the goal of building conceptual computational models that can be used to improve vaccine development and treatments for autoimmunity and cancer. 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 cellular division tracking techniques and flow cytometry 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. Single cell and bulk sequencing is used to follow molecular changes corresponding with cell fates. In the lab experiment- and computer- skilled members work together to extract the maximum value from such data. 

 

 

Email supervisors

 

Researchers:

Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Phil Hodgkin
Professor
Phil
Hodgkin
Joint Division Head
Susanne Heinzel profile
Dr
Susanne
Heinzel
Immunology division

Project Type: