The iMAC atlas and the designer macrophage

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Christine Wells
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Jarny Choi

Summary The Wells laboratory uses pluripotent stem cells to study tissue-resident immune cells such as macrophages and microglia to model specific disease or activation states in the laboratory dish. We host the resource and use this to understand the genetic networks underpinning cell differentiation and molecular identity. We are particularly interested in discovering and characterising new molecular controllers of immune cell function during tissue inflammation or injury – one example is the role of the C-type lectin Mincle on resident tissue macrophages in exacerbating neuroinflammation in brain and eye after injury.

Project Details

The Wells laboratory has generated a comprehensive atlas of human resident tissue macrophages and benchmarked laboratory models against this compendium. Cells that have been generated in a laboratory contain unique culture-associated gene regulatory programs. The project has two parts – the first is to further develop the atlas by representing new activation or differentiation states, and validating these using new data types, such as single cell RNAseq and CITE-seq. By mathematically modelling the genetic networks that are responsible for specific and desirable aspects of a cell, the second  part of the project is to engineer these aspects in the laboratory, borrowing tools from cell reprogramming and genome editing technologies.  This project is suitable for mathematics/computational students or biology students, and aspects can be undertaken as part of an honours or masters program.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

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

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