Project: How do tumours impact normal tissue functions?
Cancer cells hijack local tissue environments to support their growth, survival and metastasis. Stromal cells such as fibroblasts form critical supportive networks in tissues and express key molecules that influence tumour growth. The overall impact of tumours on the functions of stromal cells within tissues is poorly understood. This project will examine the bi-directional interactions between tumour cells and stromal cells in the lymphoid organs in order to define how cancer impacts tissue functions, and identify mechanisms to restrict tumour growth and improve disease outcomes. Advanced multi-colour imaging, flow cytometry and molecular techniques will be used in this project.
Research in the Mueller group is focused on examining immune responses to acute and chronic viral infections and to tumours. We are using state-of-the-art methods, including intravital 2-photon microscopy to visualise immune cells and pathogens in real time. We are examining how T cells are activated and protect against infections, the induction of immune memory and tissue-resident memory T cells, and the role of stromal cells and nerves in tissues for the design of new vaccines and therapeutics.