Towards a molecular description of plasma cell diversity

Towards a molecular description of plasma cell diversity

Project details

The differentiation of B cells into plasma cells (PCs) is essential for antibody production, enabling us to fight infection, and is the basis for current vaccination strategies.

Different stimuli can elicit PC subsets with distinct lifespans, isotype, affinity for antigen, and anatomical localisation.

We have recently defined a molecular signature of PCs that enables their demarcation on the basis of location and maturity (Shi, Nature Immunology 2015). This project will investigate how the diversity and function of PC subsets are controlled, by employing genomics techniques such as conventional and single cell RNA sequencing, as well as vaccination and infection models.

This project would suit a student with an interest in both molecular immunology and bioinformatics.


About our research group

Research in our laboratory aims to understand how immune cells make developmental decisions, and how the wrong choice impacts on the function of the immune system as a whole.

One arm of our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which cells of the adaptive immune system (B and T cells) are programmed to respond to infection or vaccination to produce the appropriate antibody response. Of particular interest is the production and function of plasma cells and the factors that go awry in plasma cell diseases such as multiple myeloma and lupus. We use a combination of molecular, cellular and genetic studies to address these important questions for human health.



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Molecular Immunology division

Project Type:

Eureka prize winning researchers, standing

Meet our Eureka Prize winning B cell researchers