Interrogating T cell signalling and effector function in hypoxic environments
Effector CD8+ Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a vital role in eliminating infected and diseased cells. Defining the signalling networks and molecular mechanisms that govern CD8+ T cell differentiation and optimal effector function is key to understanding T cell pathologies and discovering new molecular targets and strategies for therapies. During an immune response, T cell behavior can be shaped by microenvironmental cues. Critically, CTL are confronted by low oxygen in both physiological and pathological immunological niches. I have been using biochemistry, single-cell approaches and quantitative mass spectrometry methodologies in order to dissect signalling pathways and identify molecules that control T cell differentiation and effector function. My research goal is to develop an understanding of how environmental oxygen levels regulate the function of effector CTL with the aim of developing a framework that will allow improved understanding of how hypoxia can shape T cell responses. This talk will discuss novel insights into signalling mechanisms and transcriptional regulators that link oxygen sensing to the control of CD8+ T cell differentiation and function.
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