Targeting cell death pathways in tissue Tregs to treat inflammatory diseases

Targeting cell death pathways in tissue Tregs to treat inflammatory diseases

Project details

FoxP3+ regulatory cells (Tregs) are specialised immunosuppressive lymphocytes critical for maintaining immune tolerance and tissue repair. Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) resident Tregs must simultaneously maintain tolerance to foreign commensals and yet allow the immune system to remain poised to attack dangerous pathogens. Several types of Tregs co-exist in the GIT for this to occur.  

We have found that only one Treg type in the GIT, called Gata3+ Tregs, is exquisitely sensitive to a form of cell death termed necroptosis.  

This project will leverage this novel finding to explore the processes that maintain Gata3+ Tregs in the GIT and investigate their function during health and disease. We will combine multi-parameter flow cytometry, single cell technologies and state-of-the-art imaging with in vivo models of inflammation to answer these questions.

  • Teh, Sci Immunol, 2022 69(7): 69
  • Liston, Nat Rev Immunol, 2014 14(3) 154 
  • Rankin, Cell, 2018 173(3) 554

About our research group

Our team is located within the Immunology division that combines molecular immunology, in vivo models of inflammation and human immunology to address key questions in the field. 

The Gray lab investigates the molecular control of cell death processes shaping immune cell homeostasis. Our recent discoveries have elucidated the molecular control of Treg cell survival, offering the possibility to target these pathways in disease. Our understanding of cell death process is now extending to tissue-resident Tregs. 

Our team is composed of highly collaborative, passionate post-doctoral scientists, research assistants and PhD students with diverse backgrounds. We have expertise in state-of the art imaging, blood cancer biology, multi-dimensional flow cytometry and mucosal immunology. We provide a unique, collaborative environment, offer opportunities to develop diverse skills and make impactful discoveries. 

  • Teh, Sci Immunol, 2022 69(7): 69
  • Pierson, Nat Immunol, 2013 14(9): 959


Email supervisors



Professor Daniel Gray

Professor Daniel Gray
Joint Division Head
Photo of Dr Lucille Rankin

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