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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


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


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.


  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