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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. Within the context of cancer we aim to identify the factors affecting anti-cancer efficacy. Our work on the T cell responses against viral infections led us to an anti-viral restriction factor, IFITM3, which is now the focus of our work on anti-viral responses.

T cells killing cancer cells

ABOUT THE RESEARCH

The main objective of my group’s research is to focus on the functional aspects of the antigen specific T cells and studying the factors affecting T cells in controlling virus infection and cancer development.

For important human infections, cancer development and the course of disease is influenced mainly by the T cell response - 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, predominant among them being the micro-environment of the infection site, the type of cells infected and the variability of the virus. By understanding the key factors required for efficient viral control by the T cell response in a number of different viral infections and viral associated cancer, we aim to augment and control the immune response to as a way of improving the outcome of in several important human diseases. Current research program include:

  • To characterise human Tumor specific cytotoxic T cell responses beyond T cell receptor
  • To identify the factors determining functional avidity and cancer efficacy of tumor specific cytotoxic T cells in cancer micro-environment 
  • To study the factors affecting the antigen processing and presentation in cancer cells
  • To define the impact of IFTIM3 genetic variation on Influenza, and other virus infection, immune responses and disease outcome

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

The student will receive formal training in flow cytometry, cell culture, T cell cloning, full range of assays to evaluate T cell function , T cell receptor repertoire analysis, CyTOF, RNASeq and bioinformatics.

PUBLICATIONS

  1. ABD HAMID MEt al, Efficient anti-tumor effector responses by metabolically energetic CD103+T cells with accelerated T cell apoptosis, under revision for Cancer Immunology Research. (Ms available upon request)
  2. LI, X ET AL, A comprehensive analysis of key immune checkpoint receptors on tumor infiltrating T cells with implication of anti-cancer immune therapy REVISION SUBMITTED TO FRONTIERS ONCOLOGY. (Ms available upon request)
  3. ABD HAMID MEt al, 2019. Enriched HLA-E and CD94/NKG2A interaction limits antitumor CD8+ tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte responses. Cancer Immunol Res, 7(8), pp. 1293-1306. 
  4. Zhang C, et al 2018  Et al, Genetic abrogation of immune checkpoints in antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte as a potential alternative to blockade immunotherapy. Sci Rep, 8(1), pp. 5549. 

 

 

Training Opportunities