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Analysis of the mechanisms of human natural killer cell transition

UCL Cancer Institute

About the Project

This project will investigate the step-wise progression of human natural killer lymphocytes (NK) from their resting state through tumour target cell conjugation to ultimate lysis. The group has an established method for priming human NK cells which will be used to help dissect this pathway and determine whether it is a single sequence of steps or multiple potential steps leading to target cell lysis.

The project will involve aseptic processing of human blood samples and cell lines, cell isolation and sorting and high level flow cytometric analyses. Immunological functional assays including target cell conjugation and lysis, cytokine secretion and cell proliferation by flow cytometry, ELISA and immunofluorescence microscopy/confocal will be essential techniques. RNA extraction and gene profiling techniques will be used to identify target pathways which will be blocked to determine their roles in the NK lytic process.

The applicant will help to establish a murine model of human NK cells using an immunodeficient mouse strain which is transgenic for human IL-15. This strain will be used to validate the in vitro findings in vivo.

More detailed information about the research project is available on request from the principal supervisor:

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