Programming T cells to defend against infections

Programming T cells to defend against infections

Project details

A major goal is to understand the mechanisms of T cell memory generation that provides protective immunity. We have developed and use a number of in vivo models including acute (influenza) and chronic (herpesvirus, LCMV) infections. These models provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to examine the mechanisms that these pathogens employ to infect hosts and elicit immune protection or to subvert the host responses. Using a variety of approaches including multiparameter flow cytometry, systems biology and global gene expression profiling we aim to define cellular and transcriptional pathways in normal memory T cell differentiation and immune failure. 

Experience in many techniques will be gained through this project, including flow cytometry, molecular approaches, transcriptomics and bioinformatics, disease models, immunofluorescent imaging and confocal microscopy. 

About our research group

Our research team is embedded within the Molecular Immunology and Infection and Immunity divisions and comprises postdoctoral research fellows and students. We aim to understand how different subsets of immune cells detect pathogen infections and are educated to deliver immune protection that is maintained throughout our life.  

We have developed novel genetic models that allow us to fluorescently track immune cell development and behavior in response to pathogen infections affecting the lung and gastrointestinal tract. We use cutting edge technologies in flow cytometry, RNA and DNA seq to investigate infectious disease and the development of immune protection. 

Our team’s capabilities are complemented and extended by a strategic network of internal and external collaborators, enabling us to address major scientific and health-related research questions. 

We anticipate that through understanding of how immune cell development is programed at a genetic level, our research will ultimately reveal the regulatory pathway that maintain the immune system and protect against diseases such as infections, leukaemia and immune deficiencies. 

Further reading: Lin et al. Nature Immunology, 14:27-33, 2013; Masson et al. Blood, 123:3420-3428; Belz et al Nat Immunol. 8:1060-1066, 2007. 


Professor Marc Pellegrini

Professor Marc Pellegrini in the lab
Joint Division Head
Cody Allison profile photo
Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division

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