Harnessing tissue-resident CD8 T cells to manipulate hepatic immunity


  • Prof Mala Maini

    University College London

Project summary

More than 250 million people have chronic infection with hepatitis B virus worldwide and it causes more than 700,000 deaths a year. Existing treatments can rarely cure this infection. 

We will develop approaches that harness the natural capacity of the immune response to control hepatitis B. We have discovered that some immune cells with specialised properties for controlling hepatitis B can be found in the liver but not in the blood. We can harvest these cells from surgical liver samples, allowing us to study them in detail. We can also examine the influence of bacterial products draining into the liver from the gut that could shape immune responses and regulate the balance between liver inflammation and immunity.    

We can use our findings to develop effective immunotherapies for chronic hepatitis B infection.