You are here

Assessing the molecular mechanisms of novel vaccine adjuvants for generation of optimal killer T cell immunity.

A cardinal feature of adaptive CD8+ T cell (also known as killer T cells) responses to infection is the rapid initiation of a proliferative response that coincides with acquisition of lineage-specific functions by pathogen-specific T cells. This enables the identification and removal of virus infected host cells. Once an infection is cleared, the expanded effector killer T cell population contracts, leaving a pool of long-lived, pathogen-specific memory T cells. In contrast to naïve CD8+ T cells, virus-specific memory CTLs are able to respond more readily and rapidly to subsequent infections, and without the need for further differentiation. This function enables rapid control of a secondary infection leading to immune protection. It is of paramount importance to harness killer T cell immunity for the development of vaccines and therapies for a variety of disease states. This includes infections, such as malaria, for which there are no effective vaccine strategies but for which T cell immunity is a strong correlate of protection. Moreover, there is a compelling need to augment current vaccine strategies to infections caused by influenza a virus (IAV), where T cell immunity is important for protection from disease when humoral (antibody immunity) is ineffective. This project will assess the capacity of novel vaccine formulations to induce robust killer T cell immunity to Influenza A virus using a combination of advanced molecular techniques such as single cell RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq. When compared to immunity induced by IAV infection, this will not only provide a way of evaluating vaccine effectiveness, but will aslo provide key information about the molecular pathways that are utilised to establish optimal T cell immunity.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Influenza, virus, immunity, T cells, epigenetics, gene transcription, immunological memory, vaccination
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Microbiology
Available options 
Masters by research
Short projects
Time commitment 
Physical location 
18 Innovation Walk

Want to apply for this project? Submit an Expression of Interest by clicking on Contact the researcher.