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Joanna Hester


Postdoctoral Scientist

I am a senior postdoctoral researcher working in the Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG).  My research focuses on developing therapies that could prevent transplant rejection without the need for immunosupression.

Transplantation is currently the best treatment for the end-stage organ failure; however transplant recipients require life-long immunosuppression which is associated with significant side-effects.

 My work focuses on immune cells with regulatory properties, mainly regulatory T cells (Treg) and the mechanisms of suppression utilized by these cells.  Using a clinically relevant model of transplant rejection I am studying the ability of different human Treg subsets to mediate tolerance and the molecular pathways involved in this process. 

By providing the data on the in vivo efficacy of ex vivo expanded human Treg, my research helped to inform the currently ongoing clinical study testing safety and efficacy of Treg cells in kidney transplant recipients.