Project: Understanding the role of unconventional T cells in the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis
CD1-restricted T cells play a role in cancer, autoimmunity and infection. Most studies have focused on group 2 CD1d-restricted natural killer T cells, whereas much less is known about T cells restricted to group 1 CD1 molecules (CD1a, CD1b and CD1c). Group 1 CD1 molecules present lipid antigens to T cells to initiate an immune response. This project utilises novel CD1 tetramers that we have developed to characterise tuberculosis-specific T cells from Mycobacterium tuberculosis infected individuals and from BCG vaccinated donors. These studies will lay the foundation for understanding the role of CD1- restricted T cells in human disease.
The Godfrey group is committed to understanding the role that unconventional T cells play in health and disease. This is a world leading team in this area of investigation, having identified and characterised several populations of these human T lymphocytes. The project on offer will be co-supervised by David Ritchie. The Ritchie Group at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, their group is committed to understanding haematological malignancy, the role that the immune system plays in combatting these cancers, and how this activity can be harnessed to improve immunotherapy.