How do T lymphocytes decide their fate?

How do T lymphocytes decide their fate?

Project details

Our lab is developing a quantitative theory for how immune cell fates are regulated (ie. Hodgkin Immunol. Rev. 2018, 285:249). We build models based directly on experimental findings that aim to predict the outcome of complex signal integration by T cells and how it leads to development of effector, memory, and exhausted T cells during immune responses to infection and tumours.

We have recently discovered a series of cellular rules and a molecular mechanism, for how naive T cells integrate signals to determine the number of times they divide before returning to a quiescent, memory-like state (Marchingo, Science. 2014, 346(6213):1123; Heinzel, Nature Immunology 2017 18:96)

In this project we will take advantage of these discoveries, together with new experimental tools, to investigate how activation signals and automatic division cessation further affect the many alternative differentiation paths of the responding T cells into effector, memory or chronically exhausted cells that ultimately account for immunity.

About our research group

The Hodgkin lab studies the immune system with the goal of building quantitative models that can be used to improve vaccine development and treatments for autoimmunity and cancer.

Typical experiments in the lab use flow cytometry and direct video imaging 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.


Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Phil Hodgkin
Joint Division Head
Susanne Heinzel profile
Immunology division

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