Immuno-paralysis following severe infections

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Jose Villadangos

Summary The Villadangos group studies the first event that triggers adaptive immune responses: the presentation of pathogen or tumour antigens to T cells by Dendritic Cells, B cells and Macrophages. We are characterizing the development, regulation and impairment of antigen presenting cells by pathogens, inflammatory mediators and tumours. We are also dissecting the biochemical machinery involved in antigen capture, processing and presentation. We use this knowledge to understand how T cell-dependent immunity is initiated and maintained, and apply it to design better vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious agents and cancer.

Project Details

Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) is a common condition associated with severe infections such as COVID-19. It is characterised by inflammation accompanied with immunosuppression, and the latter can last for several weeks. The immunosuppressed patients are at risk of suffering secondary or opportunistic infections, a major contributor to morbidity and death in intensive care units. Impairment of macrophages and dendritic cells (DC), the primary initiators of T cell immunity, plays a prominent role in this immunosuppression post-SIRS. In this project we will use models of infection to characterise the mechanisms that cause immune cell paralysis and to develop therapies to prevent immunosuppression. Further reading: NS Wilson et al (2006), Nat. Immunol. 7: 165-172; LJ Young et al (2007), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 17753-17758; A. Roquilly et al (2017), Immunity 47:135-147; J Vega-Ramos et al (2014) Curr. Opin. Pharmacol. 17: 64-70. Roquilly et al (2020) Nat Immunol.

School Research Themes

Cell Signalling

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Research Node

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

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