The study of the processes that regulate the development, survival and function of white blood cells
The primary goals of the immune system are to protect the body against invading pathogens and prevent subsequent infection. This powerful system must be carefully balanced to ensure that it does not destroy the body it has evolved to protect. We use a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the receptors and pathways that regulate lymphocyte development and activation. Lymphocytes are a subset of white blood cells and can be divided into three main classes: T cells, which develop in the thymus mediate cell-mediated immunity and help B cells generate antibodies; B cells, which develop in the bone marrow and mediate humoral immunity by secreting antibodies; innate lymphocytes, which do not express T cell or B cell receptors for antigen, but play essential roles early in an infection. Each class of lymphocyte functionally interacts with the others to mount an immune response.