How lymphocytes are stopped - a novel mechanism to prevent lymphoma

How lymphocytes are stopped - a novel mechanism to prevent lymphoma

Project details

Immune responses to infections are characterised by rapid cell division and subsequent contraction of T and B lymphocytes. This process is tightly regulated with too little or too much proliferation causing diseases such as autoimmunity, immunodeficiency or even lymphoma.  This project aims to further understand how the size of this division burst is controlled.    

We have recently established an in vitro model that overcomes these control mechanisms resulting in unrestrained proliferation of in vitro stimulated lymphocytes. We are now investigating the molecular drivers for this control.  

In this project we will apply analytical and mathematical models to identify the changes induced with the aim to understand the healthy immune response and the potential development of lymphoma.  

Heinzel, et al Nat Immunol.2017;18:96 

Marchingo et al Science. 2014;28;346:1123 

About our research group

The Hodgkin lab studies the immune system with the goal of building conceptual computational models that can be used to improve vaccine development and treatments for autoimmunity and cancer.   

Experimental work to inform this effort focuses on the control of immune cell fates such as death, division and differentiation.  Typical experiments in the lab use cellular division tracking techniques and flow cytometry to measure the effect of changing conditions such as cytokines, altered genetic makeup, or the impact of pharmacological agents on individual cells and how they vary in a population. Single cell and bulk RNA sequencing is used to follow molecular changes corresponding with cell fates.   

In the lab experiment- and computer- skilled members work together to extract the maximum value from such data. 


Email supervisors



Susanne Heinzel profile
Immunology division

Professor Phil Hodgkin

Professor Phil Hodgkin
Joint Division Head

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