Mechanisms and consequences of T-cell antigen receptor signalling for normal immune homeostasis and the development of autoimmune disease


  • Prof Rose Zamoyska

    Institute of Immunology and Infection Research

Project summary

The major cause of autoimmunity is when a type of white blood cell, called a T cell, makes an immune response against one or more organs or tissues in the body. T cells are very important for mounting immune responses that protect us against pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, and there are a number of failsafe mechanisms that generally prevent them from attacking tissues in the body. Some people carry mutations in genes that put them at higher risk of developing autoimmunity. A number of these genes influence how T cells behave and these mutations increase the likelihood that T cells may attack the body’s tissues.

Our research is focused on trying to understand how and why these genetic mutations alter the behaviour of T cells. We will identify biochemical processes and pathways that become disregulated by these mutations.

The primary aim of our research is to pinpoint pathways that go wrong so that we can use this information to develop therapies that may be used to alleviate disease.