Student Projects

Characterising CD4+ T cell responses during parasitic infections

Project Supervisor/s

Suitable for PhD or Honours students.

Inflammation is a complex biological response of the body to injury, infection or other harmful stimuli. It is a protective mechanism that helps to remove the cause of injury and initiate the healing process. Immune regulation refers to the mechanisms that control inflammation to ensure that it functions properly and does not cause damage to the body’s own tissues. The immune system has a delicate balance between being responsive to pathogens and harmful invaders, while also avoiding overreaction or autoimmunity.

CD4+ T cells play critical roles in coordinating immune responses and differentiating into functional subsets best suited to control pathogen growth, as well as controlling resulting inflammation. We hypothesise that the composition of anti-parasitic CD4+ T cells subsets that develop during parasitic infection determines the outcome of disease. Furthermore, CD4+ T cell subset composition can be manipulated to improve vaccine and drug efficacy to establish long-term immunity.


To test this hypothesis, we will address the following Aims:

  1. Define CD4+ T cell molecular and phenotypic signatures associated with parasite control.
  2. Develop strategies to modulate CD4+ T cells to improve their anti-parasitic functions.
  3. Test host-directed strategies in pre-clinical disease models and primary human CD4+ T cells.

To apply for this project, please contact the project supervisor/s

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