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Transcriptional control of human γδ T cells in acute human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection

The adaptive arm of immune system uses lymphocytes to generate antibody and memory responses to challenges throughout life. Three lineages of lymphocytes have co-evolved over the last 550 million years: B cells, ɑβ T cells and γδ T cells. Human γδ T cells remain poorly understood and their exact role in immunity is unclear. However, human γδ T cells are frequently implicated in protective microbial and tumour immunity. γδ T cells are distributed throughout the body and form an extensive immune surveillance network. Our group seeks to explore the role of this network in health and disease. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a human herpesvirus that infects over 80% of the population and is a major cause of mortality in immunocompromised individuals. γδ T cells make a dramatic and sustained expansion towards acute CMV infection in transplant patients, the magnitude of which has been correlated with lower morbidity and transplant failure. The student will have access to longitudinal cohorts undergoing CMV activation in different transplant scenarios (lung, kidney and stem cell). The student will undertake state-of-the-art single cell RNA sequencing to map the transcriptional trajectories of CMV-reactive γδTCRs in stem cell transplant patients.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
T cells, virus, immunity, immunology
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Anouk von Borstel

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