Suitable for Honours or Master students.
Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) offers cure to patients with aggressive blood cancers. Its efficacy lies in the ability of the newly transplanted immune system to recognize and destroy recipient malignant cells as foreign, a phenomena known as Graft-versus-Malignancy (GVM). However, if healthy cells and tissues are targeted the complication of Graft-versus-Host disease (GVHD) occurs. Post-transplant all patients are managed with immunosuppression to control the balance between GVM and GVHD, however immunosuppression brings risk of infection and poor response to vaccines. Each of these complications are mediated by immune control, and new therapies to manipulate immunity post-transplant are required. This project will examine a number of factors influencing T cell function in the context of transplantation and the effects on GVM and GVHD, with a focus on translational research and the development of potential new therapies.
To examine the impact of the gastrointestinal microbiome on T cell function and GVHD.
To examine the fate of T cell and non-T cell immune populations after BMT and infusion of CAR T cell therapy.
Immunophenotyping including flow cytometry and spectral cytometry.
Measurement of soluble immune mediators.
Correlation with clinical outcome data.