Do the pancreatic islets select a particular population of T cells in Type 1 diabetes?

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Stuart Mannering Personal web page

Project Details

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease caused by the CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell response against the insulin-secreting beta cells found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. During the development of T1D a population of immune cells, including T cells, infiltrate the islets and mediated beta-cell destruction In our recent work (Pathiraja et al. Diabetes 2015 & Delong et al. Science, 2016) we have isolated a panel of human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from the residual pancreatic islets from deceased organ donors who suffered from type 1 diabetes. Analysis of the T-cell receptors (TCR) expressed by human islet infiltrating T cells revealed a mixed population, but with some bias towards certain TCR elements. Now we seek to determine if the repertoire of TCR genes expressed by the T cells that infiltrate the islets differs from the repertoire of TCR genes expressed by T cells found in the peripheral blood, or spleen of the same donor.

The aim of this project is to compare the TCR gene repertoire of human islet infiltrating T cells to the repertoire of TCR genes expressed by T cells found in the blood or the spleen of the same person.

This is an opportunity for an honours student to develop skills in the analysis of human T cells in autoimmunity. Specifically this project will develop the student’s molecular biology and data analysis skills. More broadly, this project is will reveal new insights into how human T cells infiltrate the pancreatic islets and cause type 1 diabetes.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Human T-Cell Laboratory.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

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

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Key Contact

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


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital

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