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Michael Harris

Departments

Department of Medicine:
PhD Student

Research Interests

Supervisor: John James

The T cell antigen receptor (TcR) can distinguish between self- and foreign-antigens with a high degree of selectivity and sensitivity, with the subsequent downstream signalling events driving an appropriate T cell immune response. When the T cell is inappropriately activated the outcome can be detrimental to the host, contributing to conditions such as autoimmunity. My research is aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms of T cell activation in fine detail.

I am now in the process of developing an optogenetic tool kit for the interrogation and modulation of signalling events downstream of the TcR (with future applications in different signalling pathways and cell types). The advantage of using a light-inducible, optogenetic system over other conventional methods is the spatial and temporal precision that it provides to study the dynamics of signalling events.

Keywords

T cells ; immune synapse ; cell signalling ; fluorescence microscopy ; confocal microscopy ; T cell receptor (TCR) ; optogenetics

Topics

  • autoimmunity