Dynamic discovery of innate immunity through imaging and genomics

Dynamic discovery of innate immunity through imaging and genomics

Project details

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are early effectors of mucosal immunity and are essential to maintain intestinal homeostasis in the gut. A central question in the field is how are ILCs regulated to maintain mucosal barrier function and immune homeostasis so that serious disease does not arise. 

We will use novel tools and approaches to identify key regulators of ILCs function essential to immune homeostasis in health and disease. These include the use of specialised in vivo models, flow cytometry, and RNAseq analyses of the microbiome. We also aim to capture data of single cells in their natural habitat performing their daily function using a combination of cutting edge two photon microscopy and fluorescent protein technology. 

About our research group

Our work aims to understand how the immune system responds to infections including viruses, bacteria and parasites.  

We are elucidating how different types of immune cells develop, and what factors influences their decision to become one type of immune cell or another. We also aim to watch these processes in action in situ. Seeing first hand how an immune cell protects us from infection provides a vast amount of data about how this process is regulated and the consequences for an individual when they are compromised.

Understanding how the body deals with pathogens will give clues about how to enhance protective immunity. Our goal is to discover new therapies that boost our immune system to protect against infection.

 

Researchers:

Dr Edwin Hawkins

Dr Edwin Hawkins profile photo
Dr
Edwin
Hawkins
Laboratory Head

Project Type: