Targeting the epigenome to rewire pro-allergic T cells

Targeting the epigenome to rewire pro-allergic T cells

Project details

Cells in allergic diseases such as asthma show changes in gene transcription owing to epigenetic alterations. However, targeting the epigenome for the treatment of these diseases is a nascent field.

The overarching goal of this project is to develop novel therapeutic approaches to rewire the T cells which drive allergic disease. The particular approach will be tailored to the interests of the successful applicant but could involve

  1. CRISPR screening to identify novel epigenetic regulators
  2. Analysis of the three-dimensional chromatin interactome to identify novel non-coding targets
  3. Drug discovery approaches to develop novel inhibitors of targets previously identified in our lab (Allan, Nature 2012 487(7406):249-53; Keenan, JCI Insight 2019 4(10)e127745). 

Skills that will be acquired include flow cytometry, genomics, CRISPR editing and disease models.  

About our research group

The Allan laboratory is a world-leading laboratory in the epigenetic regulation of immune cell function.
We are a small (6 members) but highly productive and motivated lab group regularly publishing high-impact original research (Keenan, Blood 2020 135(23):2049-58; Keenan, JCI Insight 2019 4(10)e127745; Johanson, Nat Immunol 2018 19(11):1257-64; Johanson, PLoS Genet 2018 14(6):e1007431) as well as numerous review articles and collaborative papers.

We also develop and hold important intellectual property to translate our research into the clinic.

We collaborative widely with researchers in diverse fields such as epigenetics, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, cancer biology, inflammation and respiratory disease, as well as with clinical colleagues at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.


Email supervisors



Christine Keenan profile pic
Immunology division

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