Stephen Nutt-Projects

Stephen Nutt-Projects


Harnessing the power of dendritic cells

Dendritic cells (DCs) are key sentinels that are found throughout the body and act to stimulate protective immune responses against pathogens or cancers. To better tailor the immune response to the challenge at hand, DCs have evolved into multiple anatomically and functionally distinct cell types that form an interface between the external environment and the adaptive immune system. We aim to better understand how this DC diversity is programmed on a transcriptional level as well as to devise approaches to better harness the immune stimulatory properties of DCs to promote key functions such as anti-tumour immunity.

Team members: Dr Michaël Chopin, Shengbo Zhang, Angela D’Amico

The production of antibodies

Antibodies are an essential element of the immune response to infection and underpin the success of current vaccination strategies. Antibodies are produced by plasma cells, the terminally differentiated cells of the B lymphocyte lineage. We are interested in the biological process producing B lymphocytes and plasma cells, as well as the sources of diversity within the immune response. An improved understanding of the production of antibodies will not only provide new approaches to improve vaccination strategies but also provide insights into why this process sometimes goes awry, resulting in autoimmune diseases and the formation of blood cell cancers.

Team members: Dr Julie Tellier, Dr Caleb Dawson, Dr Ashley Ng, Junli Nie, Ladina Di Rago.

Developing new approaches to treat multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of antibody-secreting plasma cells and is one of the most common blood cancers. Despite considerable treatment advances in recent years, many patients relapse, and the disease remains incurable. We aim to use genetic models and human multiple myeloma material to develop new treatment options for multiple myeloma patients.

Team members: Dr Simon Willis, Dr Melissa Holmes, Jacob Jackson.

Elucidating neuroimmune interactions: novel strategies for treatment of chronic diseases

Chronic inflammatory diseases have common pathogenic features of dysregulated immune responses. However, the events leading to this dysregulation are not well understood. The maintenance of mucosal homeostasis requires sensory circuits to continually survey mucosal tracts for perturbations in microbial, dietary, and environmental cues.

In this project, we are mapping the interactions between the nervous and immune systems to establish their roles in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and control of inflammation. An understanding of these pathways will form the basis for exploiting neuronal circuits to promote homeostatic function of immune cells and inform novel therapeutic strategies for inflammatory diseases.

Project resources

Gut reaction: how immunity ramps up against incoming threats

Gut reaction: eating causes spike in immunity

Team members:  Dr Cyril Seillet, Le Xiong