Epigenetic drivers of immune cell function

Epigenetic drivers of immune cell function

Project details

There are a myriad of different immune cells that are essential for protection from infections. The development and function of individual immune cell types are determined by distinct programs of gene transcription which are in turn controlled by ‘epigenetic’ processes. The goal of this project is to understand how epigenetic regulation of gene transcription affects immune cell development and function.

The successful applicant will utilise a cutting-edge and multidisciplinary approach combining genomics (chromatin-conformation capture, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq), molecular biology (CRISPR-Cas9, qPCR), flow cytometry and imaging.

About our research group

The Allan laboratory aims to understand how the epigenome controls immune cell development and function. We study this in the context of allergic disease, ageing, and blood cancer with the hope of finding ways to boost immune responses to infection or reduce unwanted immune activation.

The lab has basic and translational arms of research: we are world-leading experts in understanding three-dimensional genome organisation in immune cells (Johanson et al. 2018 Nat Immunol 19(11):1257-1264; Johanson et al. 2019 Nat Rev Immunol 19: 448-456). We are also experts in histone-modifying enzymes and are actively translating our discoveries of two such enzymes as therapeutic targets for the treatment of allergic diseases (Allan et al. 2012 Nature 487(7406): 249-53;, Keenan et al. 2019 JCI Insight 4(10)e127745).


Christine Keenan profile pic
Immunology division

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