Tuberculosis Research Program

Lab head: Professor Warwick Britton
Location: Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology

Lab members: Dr Manuela Florido: Vaccine deveelopment and interaction of influenza and tuberculosis Dr Mainthain Palendira: Human cancer viral immunology
Funding: NHMRC
Research approach equipment: T cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and viruses in humans and during murine tuberculosis. Vaccine development and experimental tuberculosis infection. Macrophage responses to infection Immunogenetics: genetic susceptibility to Tuberculosis Drug development against mycobacteria

Mechanisms that control Epstein Barr Virus infection and their dysregulation in Infectious Mononucleosis

Primary supervisor: Warwick Britton

Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpes virus that has been implicated in the etiology of several tumours of lymphoid and epithelial cell origin. EBV infection in childhood is almost always asymptomatic, whereas more than 50% of those acquiring the virus in adolescence develop infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever), a self-limiting disease whose febrile symptoms are thought to be secondary to a vigorous T cell response. What causes IM in some people is still unclear, but the exaggerated, and arguably immunopathogenic, T cell response seen during IM is suggestive of dysregulated T cell responses. In addition, IM has been associated with increased risk of Hodgkin Lymphoma.

This project will aim to unravel the mechanisms that may lead to the development of this exaggerated T cell responses, by exploring the characteristics and functions of cytotoxic T cells and helper T cells in patients undergoing IM.

The project will be undertaken in the Human Cancer Viral Immunology group in the Centenary Institute under the supervision of Prof Warwick Britton and Dr Mainthan Palendira. The project will give opportunity to learn several cellular and molecular techniques. These include identification of virus-specific cells with soluble peptide-MHC complexes, extensive tissue culture work, flow cytometry, cytotoxicity assays, siRNA silencing of gene expression & RT-PCR.

Discipline: Infectious diseases and Immunology
Co-supervisors: Mainthan Palendira
Keywords: Cancer, virus, Epstein Barr Virus