Modulation of immune responses by immunosuppressive chemokines

Modulation of immune responses by immunosuppressive chemokines

Project details

Our immune system exists on a knife-edge; balancing inflammatory responses to overcome infection and cancer, with the risk of autoimmunity and immune pathology. The termination of immune responses plays a critical role in dampening inflammation leading to the establishment of memory following pathogen clearance. The balance between these outcomes needs to be tightly regulated.  

This project will use a new CRISPR/Cas9 strain that expresses a novel chemokine to determine the role this chemokine plays during infection and the termination of immune responses. 

Techniques to be used:  

  • Viral and bacterial infection models

  • Confocal microscopy

  • RNAseq analysis

  • Flow cytometry

  • Advanced imaging

  • Bioinformatic analysis

Microscopic image of cells
This image shows germinal centres (GCs) which are specialised 
immune structures where cells communicate. GC development lead
to long lived protection from infections. In this image, the different
zones of GCs have been identified (using GL7, blue and CD35, red)
using confocal microscopy. All current vaccines protect via the
induction of GCs, however dysregulated GCs can also lead to
autoimmune disease. We study how GCs are terminated to discover
how our immune system balances protection and autoimmunity.  














About our research group

Our immune system requires flexibility to protect us against numerous and varied infectious agents. Following infection, immune cells integrate pathogen-specific signals to promote the dynamic migration and interactions required to determine cell differentiation and function. Our lab investigates multiple mechanisms that work together to direct flexible protective responses. 

Our research combines pathogen models, reporter mice, advanced imaging, and transcriptional analysis to dissect the networks that control cell fate and enable flexibility in immune responses. We use these advanced approaches to identify new therapeutic avenues to drive immune responses either towards protection or away from autoimmunity.  



Dr Joanna Groom

Dr Joanna Groom at a microscope
Laboratory Head

Project Type: