When healthy cells turn bad: how immune responses can transition to lymphoma

When healthy cells turn bad: how immune responses can transition to lymphoma

Project details

The immune response is a controlled proliferation burst of pathogen specific T and B cells.

This clonal expansion is tightly controlled with too little or too much proliferation causing diseases such as autoimmunity, immunodeficiency or even lymphoma.We have recently established a novel culture system where we can follow the transformation of healthy naive B cells into lymphoma-like cells that grow unrestrained in vitro and in vivo.

In this project we will use this system to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the expansion and contraction of the healthy immune response and that are deregulated in progressive steps to lead to continuous growth and survival.

Further reading:
  • Horton et al, JI 2018 201:1097
  • Heinzel, et al Nat Immunol.2017;18:96
  • Marchingo et al Science. 2014;28;346:1123

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 are 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



Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Phil Hodgkin
Joint Division Head
Susanne Heinzel profile
Immunology division

Project Type: