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Cambridge Immunology Network

Natural Killer Cells (NK cells)
Killer Ig-like Receptors (KIRs)
Human Cytomegalovirus


Supervisor: Professor John Trowsdale

One focus of our lab is to study the interaction of Natural Killer (NK) cell receptors with different MHC class I molecules. NK cells are regulated by a large repertoire of germline-encoded inhibitory and activating receptors. The function of most inhibitory receptors is well-defined. Inhibitory Killer Immunoglobin-like receptors (KIRs; KIR2DL1-3, KIR2DL5, KIR3DL1-3) are inhibitory receptors that recognize certain allotypes of HLA class I. However, the specific ligand and consequently the function of activating receptors remain mostly unknown, in particular activating KIRs (KIR2DS1-5, KIR3DS1). The aim of my project is to search for activating KIR ligands and subsequently investigate their functions.

 Kattria van der Ploeg
Not available for consultancy


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MHC class I
NK cells
killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR)
activating KIR