Immunology and Host Defense

Lab head: Dr Carl Feng
Location: Level 5E, Charles Perkins Centre D17, The University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus

Funding: NHMRC

Understanding host response to respiratory pathogens in vivo

Primary supervisor: Carl Feng

Respiratory infectious diseases, such as influenza and tuberculosis, represent a major cause of death globally. While cell-mediated immunity is believed to play a major role in host resistance to viral and intracellular bacterial pathogens, little is known about how host response is induced and executed in the lung, which is a major obstacle in the rational design of vaccines and other forms of immunologic intervention. To this end, we have developed various mouse models to study immune functions in vivo. In this project, we will use genetically modified mice to investigate molecular mechanisms mediating host resistance to pulmonary pathogens, influenza A virus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We will compare pathogen burdens, host immune responses and tissue pathologies in the infected wild-type and knock-out mice. These mouse studies will enable student(s) to acquire skills in analyzing immune response in vivo. Techniques involved include quantitative PCR, multi-parameter flow cytometry, ELISA, isolation of cells and tissues, handling mice and infections. 

Discipline: Infectious diseases and Immunology
Co-supervisors: Sebastian Stifter
Keywords: Infection and immunity, Inflammation, Immune response