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Mechanisms underlying the initiation of immunity in response to infection

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages are critical cells in the gut for the initiation and control of immunity. Both DCs and macrophages act to help to maintain tolerance to harmless antigens such as food or commensal microbiota whilst initiating or enabling responses to pathogens. The gut is a major site of infection and diseases that affect millions worldwide yet comparatively little is known about how gut DCs and macrophages function in the switch from tolerance to activation. The gut is lined by a continuous epithelial barrier which must be breached for pathogens to attack. In the large intestine, we have observed a rapid recruitment of DCs to the gut epithelium which is strongly associated with resistance to many infectious diseases. The aim of this project is to define mechanisms involved in DC migration to the epithelium in infection and to determine how DCs and macrophages interact with the epithelium to initiate anti-pathogen immunity.

Funding Notes

This project has a Band 3 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website. Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.


•Ashcroft AJ, Cruickshank S, Croucher PI, Perry MJ, Rollinson SJ, Lippitt JM, Child JA, Dunstan C, Morgan GJ, Carding SR. Colonic Dendritic Cells, colitis and T cell-mediated bone destruction are modulated by recombinant Osteoprotegerin. Immunity. 2003 19: 849-861
•Cruickshank SM, Deschoolmeester ML, Svensson M, Bazakou A, Logunova L, Little MC, Howell G, English N, Mack M, Grencis RK, Else KJ, Carding SR. Rapid Dendritic Cell Mobilisation to the Large Intestinal Epithelium is Associated with Resistance to Trichuris muris Infection. 2009 Journal of Immunology 182: 3055-62
•Bowcutt R, Bell L, Little M, Wilson J, Booth C, Murray P, Else K, Cruickshank SM. Arginase-1 Expressing macrophages are dispensable for resistance to infection with the gastrointestinal helminth Trichuris muris, Parasite Immunology 2011 33: 411-420

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