Immunology and Host Defense

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

Funding: NHMRC

Dissecting protective immune responses to intracellular pathogens in vivo

Primary supervisor: Carl Feng


Diseases caused by intracellular bacteria and parasites represent a major cause of death globally. Few successful vaccines exist for this group of the pathogens. While cell‑mediated immunity is believed to play a major role in host resistance to intracellular pathogens, little is known about how the response is executed in vivo, 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 cell functions in vivo. In this project, we will use genetically modified mice to investigate molecular mechanisms mediating host resistance to intracellular pathogens, Mycobacterium avium and Toxoplasma gondii. We will compare pathogen burdens, host immune responses and tissue pathologies in the infected wild-type and knock-out mice at various time-points post-infection.In addition to revealing novel gene functions, 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