Epigenomic remodelling of immunity by reproductive and sex-hormones
- Research Opportunity
- PhD students
- Department / Centre
- Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
|Dr Boris Novakovicfirstname.lastname@example.org||+61383416341||Personal web page|
|Prof Richard Safferyemail@example.com||+61383416341|
|Dr Ada Cheungfirstname.lastname@example.org||+61 3 9496 2260|
Summary During times of hormone change, such as pregnancy, immune cells are altered and show different capacity for microbe responses. In this project we ask the question: how do hormones remodel the epigenome of immune cells?
Our immune system is designed to remember and adapt to our environment. This process is dependent on epigenetic remodeling, which alters the ‘activity states’ of the genome. During times of hormone change, such as pregnancy, immune cells are altered and show different capacity for microbe responses. In this project we ask the question: how do hormones remodel our immune system?
To answer this, we apply both single-cell immune-profiling and (epi)genomics techniques (aka Systems Immunology) to samples collected from clinical trials. The successful candidate will have access to viably frozen biological samples from a range of clinical models, which include but are not limited to:
Pregnancy: (1) samples from different trimesters, (2) diseases such as gestational diabetes.
Gender affirming hormone therapy (GATH): (1) male-to-female and (2) female-to-male transition.
Ex vivo Trained Immunity model: (1) effects of specific hormones, (2) serum exposure, (3) effects of hormones on microbe response
These cohorts allow us to study how hormones affect immune function transiently in pregnancy and long term in the case of sex-hormone therapy in transgender individuals.
The lab: This project will be primarily based in the Epigenetics laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Dr Boris Novakovic is the primary supervisor, with Prof Richard Saffery, Dr Melanie Neeland and Dr Ada Cheung as co-supervisors. The lab has established protocols for epigenomic profiling, bioinformatics analysis, complex immune profiling, and monocyte culture experiments (Figure 1). The Children’s Campus has facilities for multi-colour cell sorting, genomic sequencing and a bioinformatics platform through VCGS and Melbourne Genomics.
Techniques involved: CUT&TAG, RNA-seq, DNA methylation arrays, CITE-seq, blood processing, cell culture, Advanced flow cytometry, bead-based immunoassays, bioinformatics analysis.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
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
For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.
Department / Centre
Research NodeRoyal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
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