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How the immune system is regulated to prevent autoimmunity

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

Project Description

The immune system must be primed to quickly respond to infection, but must also be tightly regulated so that self-tissues are not attacked in normal healthy individuals. A breakdown in immune system regulation can result in autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and arthritis. Therefore understanding the pathways and mechanisms that keep the immune system in a resting state at times of health are vital in understanding what goes wrong to cause autoimmune disease.

This project will study pathways and mechanisms by which cells of the immune system communicate with one another to prevent autoimmune disease. Specifically, the project will focus on how the important immune cytokine TGF-beta is produced and activated by different immune cells, and how TGF-beta affects immune responses.

The project will utilise a variety of different techniques including animal models, molecular biology and cell culture models to study:

1. The mechanisms by which activation of TGF-beta by immune cells is turned on (to prevent autoimmunity).
2. The mechanisms by which the pathway is turned off (when the immune system must eliminate infection).
3. How different cells of the immune system are affected by the pathway.

The student will join my laboratory located within the world-class Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester, and will have access to a wide-range of expertise and facilities present within the faculty.

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.

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