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Our group focuses on determining the factors which affect T cells both in the control of viral infection and in the development of cancer.

T cell (orange) killing a cancer cell (pink)

Human infections, cancer development and the course of disease are mainly influenced by T cell responses.  While a robust and appropriate T cell response is beneficial to the host, a weak or inappropriate response can be ineffective or even have a detrimental effect. Numerous factors influence the quality of the T cell response to viral infections or cancer development. Predominant among them being the microenvironment of the tumour or infection site, the type of cells affected and in the case of infection, the variability of the virus. By understanding the key factors required for efficient T cell control in a number of different viral infections and virus-associated cancers, we aim to identify targets to augment and control the immune response as a way of improving the outcome of several important human diseases.

As a group we are focussing our expertise in both a cancer and viral infection setting to:

1. Assess the function and dysregulation of cancer-specific T cells 

2. Identify inhibitory and co-stimulatory factors that affect anti-cancer efficacy

3. Assess the role of T cells in Influenza and SARS-Cov-2 virus infections and the factors that affect their function 

4. Study the factors affecting antigen processing and presentation in cancer and virus-infected cells

5. Define the impact of IFTIM3 genetic variation on virus infection, immune responses and disease outcome

 

Dong Lab Members

DPHIL SUPERVISOR PROFILE

Human T Cell responses against viruses and cancer

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