Control of T cell activation by accessory receptors
T cells orchestrate immune responses crucial for the elimination of infections and cancers. They do this by initiating a diverse set of effector responses when their T cell surface receptors (TCRs) recognize these threats. It is now appreciated that a large number of other, “accessory”, surface receptors shape these responses. Indeed, the remarkable clinical success of checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptors is based on perturbing accessory receptor signaling. But these therapies have also highlighted that our understanding of how accessory receptors shape T cell responses is limited. This is exemplified by our crude binary classification of them into stimulatory or inhibitory receptors (see for example Chen & Flies (2013) Nature Reviews Immunology). A key aim of the laboratory is to discover how these accessory receptors differentially regulate the quantitative T cell response to antigen and in this way, we aim to move the field beyond the binary classification of these receptors. We exploit this new information in the rational design of T cell based therapies.
The D.Phil project will involve experiments with primary human T cells and biophysical analysis of receptor/ligand interactions. We are focusing on a number of receptors within the immune receptor group and tumour necrosis factor receptor super-family. In addition to a variety of experimental techniques, the project will also involve mathematical model.
Depending on the experience and interest of the student, there is flexibility in the focus of the project.
4 Year DPhil Prize Studentships cover University fees, a tax free stipend of ~£17,009 pa, and up to £5,300 pa for research costs and travel. The competition is open to applicants from all countries. See View Website for full details and to apply.
How good is research at University of Oxford in Biological Sciences?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 223.80
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