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Cambridge Immunology Network



Upon infection or vaccination, germinal centre (GC) responses generate long-lived antibody secreting plasma cells and memory B cells. This allows vaccination programs to very efficiently halt or even eradicate life-threatening infectious diseases. Despite these advances in preventive medicine, protecting aged individuals against seasonal epidemics such as influenza has proven difficult as their ability to generate a robust, protective memory after vaccination is strongly reduced. My project will focus on the changes occurring during the aging process of the immune system, in particular those that impede the formation and function of protective structures such as the germinal centre.


Key publications: 

Pierson W, Cauwe B, Policheni A, Schlenner SM, Franckaert D, Berges J, Humblet-Baron S, Schönefeldt S, Herold MJ, Hildeman D, Strasser A, Bouillet P, Lu LF, Matthys P, Freitas AA, Luther RJ, Weaver CT, Dooley J, Gray DH, Liston A. Antiapoptotic Mcl-1 is critical for the survival and niche-filling capacity of Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cells. Nature Immunology. 2013 Sep;14(9):959-65.

Papadopoulou AS, Dooley J, Linterman MA, Pierson W, Ucar O, Kyewski B, Zuklys S, Hollander GA, Matthys P, Gray DH, De Strooper B, Liston A. The thymic epithelial microRNA network elevates the threshold for infection-associated thymic involution via miR-29a mediated suppression of the IFN-α receptor. Nature Immunology. 2011 Dec 18;13(2):181-7

Linterman MA, Pierson W, Lee SK, Kallies A, Kawamoto S, Rayner TF, Srivastava M, Divekar DP, Beaton L, Hogan JJ, Fagarasan S, Liston A, Smith KG, Vinuesa CG. Foxp3+ follicular regulatory T cells control the germinal center response. Nature Medicine. 2011 Jul 24;17(8):975-82

Pierson W, Liston A. A new role for interleukin-10 in immune regulation. Immunol Cell Biol. 2010 Nov-Dec;88(8):769-70.

 Wim  Pierson
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cell
germinal center
regulatory T cells