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Tal Arnon


Associate Professor

Our lab studies spatiotemporal mechanisms that regulate the adaptive immune system during homeostasis and in response to viral infections.

Adaptive immune responses are essential for the control of acute infections and for the immunity achieved following prior exposure or vaccination. This process requires that extremely rare antigen-specific B and T cells encounter their cognate antigen, receive context-specific instructive signals from innate cells, establish cognate interactions with each other, and ultimately differentiate in a controlled manner before migrating onwards to their effector sites. While seemingly unlikely, this all occurs with remarkable efficiency largely thanks to a highly evolved guidance system which directs movement of cells in particular differentiation states to specialized niches. Defining the microanatomical structures and mechanisms that instruct cell transition between functional niches, and identifying the signals delivered within these sites, is therefore key to our understanding of adaptive immunity.

My PhD, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with Professor Ofer Mandelboim, focused on understanding how human natural killer cells recognize and eliminate virally infected cells. As a postdoctoral fellow, in the University of California San Francisco with Professor Jason Cyster, I moved on to investigate mechanisms that regulate lymphocytes trafficking in vivo. In January 2014, I joined the Kennedy Institute as a Senior Research Fellow. In our current work, we continue explore how adaptive immune responses are orchestrated within live tissues.

Our overall goal is to uncover fundamental principles that regulate the adaptive immune system and to harness this knowledge for the development of better vaccines and therapies against immunological disorders.