Supervisors and projects
Details of supervisors and possible projects on the Hosts, Pathogens and Global Health Programme for students starting in October 2022.
Supervisors on the Hosts, Pathogens and Global Health PhD programme.
The supervisors for the Programme are mainly located in the Ashworth Laboratories in the Kings Buildings campus of the University of Edinburgh. There are also supervisors based in the Roslin Institute at Easter Bush, and in the Centre for Inflammation Resarch, and Infection Medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
Read about the supervisors who contribute to the programme and the research that they do below. There are also links for more details.
Dr Helen Alexander - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Helen is broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of pathogens (especially bacterial and viral pathogens of humans), with a major current focus on the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. My research group uses diverse methods – mathematical modelling and simulations, wet lab experiments (with bacteria in vitro), and statistical inference – to address questions in infectious disease biology. Some current questions include:
How do competitive and cooperative interactions among bacteria affect their response to antibiotic treatment and chances of evolving resistance?
Do pathogens interact with one another when establishing infections in hosts, and if so, how does this impact disease spread in the host population?
How do intracellular responses to stress affect the occurrence of mutations in bacteria, and what is the impact on evolution of resistance?
Possible project: Establishment of antibiotic-resistant mutants in bacterial populations (wet lab & model fitting)
Dr Katie Atkins - Usher Institute
- Evaluating the trajectory of HIV drug resistance,
- Using phylogenetics to understand transmission of bacterial drug resistance
- Quantifying the impact of RSV vaccines using mathematical modelling
Dr Amy Buck - Institute for Immunology and Infection Research
Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms by which pathogens adapt to, and manipulate, their hosts. This research enhances basic understanding of small RNA regulation and trafficking and illuminates host-pathogen interactions that could play a role in persistence and tolerance. We use both viral and helminth models to examine the mechanisms by which small RNAs are regulated to control cells, and how these can traffic outside of cells. One application of our work is the development of small RNA based diagnostics for helminth infection, building on our findings related to nematode secreted RNAs in body fluids.
Possible projects: Argonaute exchange between stromal and immune cells: tracking RNA communication in action
Developing country collaborators: Dr Vincent Tanya, Cameroon Academy of Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Dr Graeme Cowan - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The mechanisms involved in immunity to malaria are complex and not fully understood, but it is known that antibodies play an important role. We are using and developing new next-generation sequencing and single-cell genomics techniques to characterise immunity to malaria to understand the exact nature of non-sterilising asymptomatic immunity to malaria. By understanding the timings and contributions of different immune effector mechanisms, as well as the antigen epitopes involved, we aim to contribute to the design of an effective malaria vaccine.
Possible project: Characterisation of the T-cell response in malaria
Professor Paul Digard - Roslin Institute
Professor Digard is a virologist who has published on herpesviruses, plus strand RNA viruses and (primarily) on influenza A virus. His laboratory is interested in the molecular and cellular biology of how influenza virus replicates, using this information to understand the basis of virus pathogenesis and host range, as well as for translational studies on antiviral drug development and virus control measures.
In recent years, the group has focused on three main areas: identifying cellular pathways and viral elements involved in genome trafficking and virus assembly, on the function of the viral RNA synthesis machinery and its role in setting host range, and in identifying novel virus polypeptides, at least three of which affect virus pathogenicity.
Possible project: Function of a newly-identified influenza A virus accessory protein
Professor David Dockrell - Centre for Inflammation Research
Macrophages play a key role in the pathogenesis of Infectious diseases. We are interested in understanding how key macrophage innate immune functions protect healthy individuals against infection, despite recurring challenge, and how these core responses are perturbed by human disease inducing susceptibility to infection. We believe that by optimising innate immune responses we can limit our reliance on antimicrobial therapy and provide an alternative strategy to that focused on targeting pathogens by vaccine responses or with antimicrobials to which they can develop resistance. In this context we study a variety of bacterial infections but focus in particular on Streptococcus pneumoniae and other respiratory pathogens. We also examine Staphylococcus aureus and are interested in how HIV and other viral infections alter the macrophage responses to bacteria.
Possible project: Genetic basis and temporal trends in AMR of ESKAPE pathogens
Dr Musa Hassan - Roslin Institute
Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous foodborne apicomplexan that infects all warm-blooded vertebrates, including more than a billion people worldwide, and can cause life-threatening illness in immunocompromised patients, the elderly, and developing foetus.
Musa's lab is interested in identifying how; (a) host cell-autonomous responses, and parasite’s virulence mechanisms, define acute and chronic infections in humans and livestock, and (b) heterogenous host cell-parasite encounters regulate overall pathogenesis. This is achieved by applying functional genomics, genome-editing, immunological, parasitology, and computational approaches that collectively enable us to comprehensively monitor host-parasite interactions within the context of in vitro and ex vivo infections.
(1) Identifying how interferon-stimulated genes regulate Toxoplasma growth in porcine and human cells
(2) Using single-cell RNA-seq to interrogate host immunity to pathogens.
Developing country collaborators: We are also affiliated with the Centre for Tropical Livestock Health and Genetics (www.ctlgh.org) through which we have collaborative projects with scientist in several developing countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Tanzania.
Prof Jim Kaufman - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The main interest in the Kaufman lab is the evolution of immunity, focusing on the chicken MHC.
Among his discoveries are the:
1. existence of single dominantly-expressed chicken class I and class II molecules which determine the immune response to pathogens and vaccines,
2. importance of co-evolution between polymorphic genes that lead to the expression of a single class I molecule, and
3. presence of lectin-like (NK) receptor and CD1 genes suggesting they were present in the primordial MHC.
He continues to explore the:
1. roles of chicken MHC molecules in resistance to pathogens and response to vaccines,
2. roles of polymorphism and co-evolution for MHC genes involved in antigen presentation, and
3. ramifications of our findings for the evolutionary history of the MHC.
Jim's long-term plans include whole genome studies in chickens, development of chickens as a system with a smooth transition between field and laboratory for study of natural pathogens in a natural host, and work on other vertebrates.
Kaufman lab website - please note Jim is relocating from Cambridge to Edinburgh in January 2020
Possible projects: (1) Identifying “functional alleles” of chicken BG genes in intestinal epithelial cells; (2) Identifying proteins interacting with chicken BG molecules; (3) Expression and structure of the chicken class I molecule BF1
Professor Andrew Leigh-Brown - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Our group studies how infectious diseases spread and are maintained in populations. We analyse viral sequence data, linking viral phylogenetics to epidemiological network models. Most of our work is on HIV, and we have projects based both here, using the 100,000 HIV sequences in the UK HIV Drug Resistance Database (www.hivrdb.org.uk), and in Africa where we collaborate particularly closely with the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS (http://www.mrcuganda.org/) in Entebbe. The 3 postdocs in the group (2 affiliated students are based in Entebbe and Brighton) are funded by the NIH and by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through consortia including colleagues in the University of California San Diego, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and UCL.
Possible project: Are multiple HIV strains transmitted during mother-to-child transmission?
Developing country collaborators: Prof Pontiano Kaleebu & Dr Deo Ssemwanga, MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda; Profs Deenan Pillay and Tulio de Oliveira, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Professor Tom Little - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Wild animals do not carry birth certificates. How can we accurately know the age of a wild animal? If we could estimate age in the wild, we could begin to ask what causes rapid aging to accelerate? Recently, medical science has developed an epigenetic clock based on DNA methylation, and it is a highly accurate biomarker of age that can be used to predict mortality or determine if individuals have aged faster than their chronological age suggests.
This project, in collaboration with Amy Pedersen, will develop and deploy a DNA methylation clock for a wild mouse, the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus, to address a set of fundamental questions about the biology of ageing, such as: ‘What is the cost, in terms of age acceleration, of living in the wild? What is the cost of nutritional deficiency? What is the cost of infection? Of coinfection? Of treatment? Of vaccination?’
Possible project: What causes accelerated biological age?
Dr Sara Macias - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The organism’s first line of defence against viruses is the innate immune system. In mammals, viral infections trigger a very potent antiviral response, known as the type-I interferon, which is essential to initiate the antiviral state in both the infected and neighbouring cells. Our group is interested in understanding how cells control the activation of the antiviral defence mechanisms, and specifically in understanding the role of miRNAs in controlling the antiviral response.
Possible project: INTERFERing with pluripotency
Profesor Keith Matthews - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
African trypanosomes are protozoan parasites that cause sleeping sickness. My lab is interested in how these parasites successfully progress through their life cycle to achieve disease transmission. Particularly, we study (i) how the parasites communicate with other trypanosomes in the blood of mammalian hosts to prepare for their uptake by tsetse flies, and (ii) how they detect their transmission to the tsetse fly and undergo cellular development to assist their survival. We use a combination of molecular cell biology, parasite biology, gene expression control and parasite genetic manipulation to understand the mechanistic basis of these life cycle transitions and their implications for parasite virulence and control.
Possible project: Cell-cell communication in African Trypanosomes
Developing country collaborators: Vincent Delespaux, Antwerp, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Zambia (depending on project)
Dr Luke McNally - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Work in my lab focuses on the ecology and evolution of these attack and defence strategies in bacteria to unravel why bacteria use particular mechanisms of attack and defence and the consequences of these strategies for their communities. We take a multidisciplinary approach to these problems, using a combination of mathematical models, experiments, and statistical analysis of large-scale bioinformatic and epidemiological datasets.
Some current projects are:
- How does competition shape the spatial structure of microbial communities?
- What determines the rate of emergence of antibiotic resistance?
- How will bacteria evolve in response to manipulation of the microbiome?
Possible project: Where should we focus efforts to tackle the antimicrobial resistance crisis?
Dr Liam Morrison - Roslin Institute
My research interests are the infection biology of protozoan parasites of livestock and humans, with a particular focus on African trypanosomes. I am interested in how genetic variation in parasites (e.g. between different strains or species) translates to variation in phenotype – we are trying to understand this with respect to drug resistance, antigenic variation and pathogenesis for the trypanosomes of relevance to livestock, Trypanosoma congolense, T. vivax and T. brucei. Additionally, we exploit analysis of the host immune response (mainly cattle but also mouse infection models) to understand the key host-parasite interactions that determine disease outcome.
Possible project: Exploring metabolism and drug resistance in the African trypanosomes
Developing country collaborators: I work with GALVmed, in South Africa, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Malawi; Field scientists at the Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Research Institute in Tanzania studying trypanosomiasis and East Coast Fever in and around the Serengeti National Park.
Dr Maddie Moule - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Maddie’s research focuses on bacterial host pathogen- interactions, with emphasis on the molecular genetics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis dissemination and extrapulmonary spread. Tuberculosis remains one of the leading causes of death due to infectious disease worldwide, and dissemination is a critical aspect of M. tuberculosis pathogenesis because it is required both for the establishment of secondary granulomas within the lungs and extrapulmonary infections that are particularly difficult to diagnose and treat.
Her work addresses this question through the identification and characterization of bacterial virulence factors in air-liquid interface cultures and other three-dimensional models of the human lung. She has also expanded her work with these model systems to include research on the host-pathogen interactions of Burkholderia pseudomallei and other bacterial pathogens which have re-emerged as threats to human health due to the rise of antimicrobial resistance including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA.
Potential rotation project: Regulation and function of miR-23/27/24 in mycobacterium infection in human and mouse lung culture models (Joint project with Amy Buck)
Professor Francisca Mutapi - Institute of Immunology and Infection Resarch
My group focuses on global health and tropical disease research working mainly on the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis (bilharzia). The scientific research is focusing on developing better interventions based on enhancing the host’s immune innate and adaptive protective responses and developing improved diagnostics based on serological and molecular markers of infection/disease. Our work integrates field studies in Africa of the host-parasite interaction focusing on parasite molecular biology and genetics, host immunity, genetics and microbiome structure and relating these to the epidemiology of the infection/disease. Our results have been informing global schistosome and other helminth control and intervention programmes.
Possible project: Using novel approaches to determine the efficacy of childhood vaccines
Developing country collaborators: Prof Takafira Mduluza, Department of Biochemistry and Prof Nicholas Midzi, Medical School, University of Zimbabwe; Dr Nadine Rujeni, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Univesity of Rwanda; Dr Pauline Mwinzi, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
Dr Thumbi Mwangi - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Thumbi Mwangi is a Kenyan veterinarian using applied epidemiological modelling and data science to improve the speed and quality of policy decision making in human and animal health. His current research includes implementation research for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies, syndromic surveillance for early detection of zoonotic spillover, transmission and control of zoonoses, livestock interventions for improvement of human nutritional status, and more recently transmission dynamics and control of SARS-CoV2 in Kenya.
Professor Dan Nussey - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in understanding the causes and consequences of variation in immunity and ageing in wild and domestic ruminant populations. Most of my current work centres on the long-term study of wild Soay sheep on the remote St Kilda archipelago, but I am also closely involved in collaborations involving a range of other wild animal populations, as well as with animal health and veterinary researchers working on domestic ruminants. A focus of our recent work has been to test the power of biomarkers developed within the fields of epidemiology, biogerontology and veterinary immunology to explain variation in the ageing process in the wild, and to test their ability to predict health and productivity in ruminant livestock.
Possible project: Leukocyte telomere length, health and fitness in wild and domestic ruminants
Dr Darren Obbard - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Possible project: Phylodynamics of insect RNA viruses in the wild
Dr Amy Pedersen - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Our research aims to understand how parasites impact the health and fitness of their human and animal hosts, specifically by incorporating the complexities of natural systems to better develop effective intervention strategies. We integrate an array of methodologies (lab and field experiments on a wild rodent – parasite system, modelling, statistical methods, meta-analysis, etc.) to (i) evaluate interactions that occur between co-infecting parasites and the immune response to understand rates of disease spread and impacts on host health; and (ii) strive to elucidate the factors that drive host shifts and disease emergence in multi-host parasites.
Possible project: The ecology of infection and immunity in wild mice
Developing country collaborators: Prof Eric Fevre, University of Liverpool, UK - based in Nairobi, Kenya (ILRI)
Dr Nisha Philip - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
My lab is intersted in two main aspects of malaria biology.
- Organisation of signaling pathways during malaria parasite infection and transmission: Protein phosphorylation plays a central role in numerous signalling pathways critical to cell proliferation and development. In Plasmodium, the causal agent of malaria, protein phosphorylation is critical for its development and virulence, but the associated regulatory signalling networks are poorly understood. Using state of the art proteomic, chemical genetic and bioinformatics tools we intend to systematically define functional signaling networks regulated by phosphorylation modulating enzymes during two key stages of the malaria parasite life cycle: host cell infection and host-to-mosquito transmission.
- RNA binding proteins mediated regulation of Plasmodium development: The malaria parasite has a complex life cycle requiring both a mammalian host and mosquito vector. Almost 200 RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are expressed at distinct stages of Plasmodium lifecyle where they are implicated in both parasite development, and host-to-vector and vector-to-host transitions. We recently identified a family of RBPs which play crucial roles in parasite growth in the host erythrocyte and development of the mosquito infective form. We aim to understand how these RBPs are regulated and what RNA molecules they regulate.
Possible project: Role of Ubiquitin dynamics during malaria parasite development
Professor Andrew Rambaut - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
My research focuses on the evolution and epidemiology of emerging human and animal pathogens, in particular, fast evolving RNA viruses that have been sampled through time. I have contributed to the research on most of the major virus epidemics that have emerged in recent times including Ebola virus in West Africa, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, pandemic influenza in 2009, H7N9 avian influenza, hepatitis C virus and HIV. For these viruses in particular, my research has provided some of the crucial initial characterization of the epidemics, their molecular epidemiology and evolution, and the timing of their origins which, by the time the epidemic is detected, is often obscure.
Professor Sarah Reece - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Our research focuses on malaria parasites, which are an excellent model system to study host-parasite-vector interactions, and because malaria parasites are important (they and their relatives cause some of the most serious infectious diseases of humans, livestock, and wildlife). We use evolutionary theories and ecological principles to help us understand what parasites do during infections, and why they do things in these ways. We are evolutionary ecologists at heart but we also dabble in parasitology, chronobiology, behavioural biology, genetic modification, mathematical modelling, immunology, various ‘omics, and biophysics.
Possible projects: Sophisticated strategies for evolutionary success in malaria parasites
Dr Jenny Regan - Institute of Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Women have stronger immune responses than do men to most infections, but suffer from greater levels of autoimmunity, and this sex difference is apparent throughout the animal kingdom.
We use live imaging and the elegant genetics possible in Drosophila to understand how dynamic behaviors of immune cells differ between sexes, and how these affect the response to infection, inflammation, ageing and survival.
Possible project: Can short-term rapamycin treatment in middle age maintain immune function and reduce systemic inflammation in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster?
Professor Alex Rowe - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
A unique feature of human malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is the ability of infected erythrocytes to bind to blood vessel walls leading to blockage of micro-vascular blood flow. This can lead to life-threatening disease due to hypoxia, acidosis, inflammatory changes, organ dysfunction and death. The aim of our research is to characterise the parasite adhesion molecules and human cell receptors and serum proteins that interact to cause adhesion of infected erythrocytes. We focus on two adhesion types that are associated with severe malaria in young African children – rosetting with uninfected erythrocytes and binding to human brain endothelial cells. We aim to identify that receptor-ligand interactions leading to adhesion, and develop interventions to block or reverse adhesion to prevent deaths from severe malaria.
Possible projects: Which host receptor mediates binding of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to human brain endothelial cells?
Developing country collaborators: Prof Tom Williams and Prof Kathryn Maitland, KEMRI-Welcome Research Laboratories, Kilifi, Kenya and Mbale Regional Hospital, Ugand; Dr Peter Olupot-Olupot, Mbale Regional Hospital, Uganda; Professor Ogobara Doumbo, University of Mali, Bamako, Mali
Professor Achim Schnaufer - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Our lab studies the mitochondrial biology of trypanosomes, single cellular organisms that are important parasites of man and livestock. Our research is driven in equal measure by two goals: to understand the fascinating biology of these parasites and to help alleviate the suffering they cause. These organisms have taken biological principles that underpin all life on earth and twisted them into something bizarre and unique. This is particularly true for their mitochondrial biogenesis and the structure and expression of their mitochondrial genome, which we study and exploit for the development of new drugs.
Possible project: Mitochondrial biogenesis and function in trypanosomes
Professor Paul Sharp - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Evolution of viruses, bacteria and other parasites including malaria. My research employs computer analyses of nucleotide and protein sequence data to address a range of evolutionary questions.
Viral evolution: what are the origins of human viruses, and what factors influence their genetic diversity? A particular focus has been the origins and evolution of AIDS viruses.
Bacterial evolution: what do bacterial genome sequences tell us about evolution? Two particular areas involve the evolution of synonymous codon usage bias, and the evolution of repetitive sequence families.
Possible project: Genome evolution of malaria parasites
Dr Tovah Shaw - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Gut resident macrophages perform a variety of roles that support intestinal function and protect it from infections. The ways in which environmental factors, such as nutrients and microbes, affect the function of these macrophages are not well understood.
My lab is interested in understanding the different types of macrophages that exist in the gut, the different functions they perform, and how they are influenced by the environment around them. A good understanding of how and when macrophage functions can be manipulated by environmental signals could lead to evidence-based microbial and dietary supplementation to promote the maintenance and restoration of gut health.
Potential projects: Effects of dietary changes or intestinal infections on gut macrophage function.
Dr Phil Spence - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The Spence lab asks how children become immune to severe malaria. This is a key question because malaria continues to kill hundreds of thousands of children each year; parasite drug-resistance threatens malaria control worldwide; and the only licensed malaria vaccine has low and short-lived efficacy. A better understanding of the immune response to malaria is crucial to improving disease control.
Possible project: Mechanisms of disease tolerance in human malaria
Dr Matthew Taylor - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The orchestration of a successful immune response requires a tight balance between mobilising a sufficient and correct effector response, whilst simultaneously regulating that response to prevent it becoming pathogenic. Helminth parasites excel at subverting this balance, using the host's own immune regulatory mechanisms to prevent effective immunity, resulting in immune suppression and chronic infection in the majority of individuals.
The goals of my research are to use murine models of filariasis ( Litomosoides sigmodontis) and schistosomiasis to understand how T cell responses are positively and negatively regulated during helminth infections, and to develop therapeutic interventions allowing us to manipulate the regulatory/effector balance to restore protective immunity.
Possible project: Does viral infection worsen allergic inflammation by stimulating T cell plasticity
Dr Pedro Vale - Institute of Evolutionary Biology
Research in our group addresses the evolutionary ecology of host-pathogen interactions, and we are especially interested in understanding the causes and consequences of individual variation in health during infection. Broadly, we want to know why there is so much variation in
- how sick individuals get;
- how sick individuals make others; and
- how pathogens spread and evolve in response to this variation.
Most of our work uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as model of innate immunity during systemic and chronic infections.
Possible project: Mitochondrial genetic effects on antiviral innate immune responses
Dr Prerna Vohra - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
Prerna is a lecturer in the School of Biolgical Sciences.
Before joining the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Roslin Institute, studying the pathogenicity of Salmonella . Since starting her own group she has continued this work, evaluating the cross-protective efficacy of a novel, live-attenuated vaccine against Salmonella infection.
Professor Sue Welburn - Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine
The Welburn research group focusses on human sleeping sickness and zoonotic trypanosomiasis and other neglected zoonoses in domestic wild and animal populations. The lab's research concentrates on the design and use of molecular diagnostic tools for the study and management of the neglected zoonoses. Research encompasses ‘grass-roots’ fieldwork in Africa to laboratory-based dissection of the problem at the gene level. Activities include development and application of diagnostic tools and application of quantitative and qualitative methods for the estimation of disease burden of neglected zoonoses and strategies for disease control. Sue's experience ranges from the management of high-tech laboratory research to the running of applied field projects in developing countries.
Developing country collaborators: Professor Charles Waiswa, COCTU (Co-ordinating Office for Control of Trypanosomiasis Uganda) and Prof John David Kabasa, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB); Makerere University, PO Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda, East Africa
Professor Mark Woolhouse - Usher Institute
My research interests concern the dynamics of infections of animals and humans at different scales, from the interaction of a parasite or virus with host cells through to global estimates of disease burden. This work involves the close integration of field studies, laboratory experiments and theoretical analyses and draws on collaborations between epidemiologists, mathematical biologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, immunologists and others. My group studies a variety of infectious disease systems ranging from prion diseases to viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths. The common theme is the development of a formal, quantitative understanding of the dynamics of parasites and pathogens within hosts and host populations with particular emphasis on understanding how novel pathogens, including antimicrobial resistant strains, emerge in human populations.
Possible projects: Genomic epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance at the human and livestock interface
Developing country collaborators: Dr Steve Baker, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Prof. Eric Fevre, ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr Dietmar Zaiss - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The focus of my research is the role of the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF-R) in the regulation of our immune system.
Possible project: Single cell sequencing based analysis of Listeria-specific CD4 T-cell responses
Professor Rose Zamoyska - Institute of Immunology and Infection Research
The primary interest of the Zamoyska lab is in T cell signalling (right) and how signals through the T cell receptor influence T cell homeostasis and the ability of T cells to be activated by antigens. Our research focuses on unraveling the roles and regulation of signaling molecules that are activated proximally to TCR engagement. Using genetic modification to introduce functional mutations or to manipulate expression of these molecules we aim to understand how they influence T cell activation, proliferation and differentiation into effector cells without leading to autoreactivity that can result in autoimmunity.
Possible project: Regulation of T cell activation