Project: CD4 T cells for protection against malaria infection in the skin
Plasmodium parasites are extremely complex pathogens, with a life cycle involving multiple stages within the mosquito vector and the mammalian host. An ideal vaccine for malaria would induce immunity against each of the different stages of the parasite’s development within the host, including in the skin at the time of transmission. This project will determine if Plasmodium-specific CD4 T cells can protect against infection in the skin following intradermal injection or mosquito bite challenge. We will then determine the optimal Th phenotype for this protection. This project will use advanced immunological techniques including flow cytometry, and intravital imaging.
The Heath group is interested in the immune response to pathogens, particularly to malaria, which is still a major cause of mortality worldwide. We study T cell responses with the aim of improving vaccine strategies and focus on T cell responses in the skin, the liver and lymphoid organs including the spleen. Our lab recently discovered a population of resident memory T cells within the liver that are capable of protecting against malaria infection. These and other cells are currently being studied.
Heath Group Current Projects
PhD/MPhil, Master of Biomedical Science, Honours