Vascular Immunology Laboratory
Lab head: Professor Georges Grau
Location: K25 - Medical Foundation Building
This laboratory seeks to decipher the fine interactions between microvascular endothelial cells and circulating blood cells, by studying the biology and pathophysiology of microvascular endothelial cells. Diseases such as cerebral malaria, multiple sclerosis and viral encephalitis are being modelled using brain-derived endothelium, while lung-derived cell-lines are being used to study adult respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, and other pulmonary illnesses. In addition to functional studies, the latest imaging technology is being used to visualise the diverse players involved in inflammation. Using these integrated approaches, the cellular, molecular and genetic features of microvascular biology will be explored.
Improved understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms will lead not only to significant advances in fundamental knowledge of biology, but also will identify new targets for the development of drugs intended to treat the many diseases caused by inflammatory processes.
Defining the antigen presentation capacity of endothelial cells and their microparticles
Primary supervisor: Julie Wheway
We are interested in the role that brain endothelial cells (HBEC) play in antigen presentation and the modulation of T cell activation. Co-culturing HBEC with isolated T cells will be performed and the involvement of specific co-stimulatory molecules in these co-cultures will be assessed using blocking antibodies. Moreover, the ability of the HBEC to transfer antigens, specifically malarial antigens will be assessed using co-cultures of HBEC, T cells and infected erythrocytes.
Techniques used will include cell culture, tripartite co-culture assays, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy.
Co-supervisors: Georges Grau
Keywords: T-cells, Malaria, Brain