Founding Director (Oxford), Professor of Immunology
- Program Leader, MRC Human Immunology Unit
- Founding Director (Oxford), CAMS-Oxford joint International Centre for Translational Immunology
- Founding Director (Oxford), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Oxford Institute (COI)
Anti-tumour and viral T cell response
The main objective of my group’s research is to focus on the functional aspects of the antigen specific T cells and studying the factors affecting T cells in controlling virus infection and cancer development.
For important human infections, cancer development and the course of disease is influenced mainly by the T cell response - while a robust and appropriate T cell response is beneficial to the host, a weak or inappropriate response can be ineffective or even have a detrimental effect. Numerous factors influence the quality of the T cell response to viral infections, predominant among them being the microenvironment of the infection site, the type of cells infected and the variability of the virus. By understanding the key factors required for efficient viral control by the T cell response in a number of different viral infections and viral associated cancer,
Recent success of clinical trials that block inhibitory receptors is exciting, however, only some patients respond to the treatmentand the risk for causing autoimmune disease is high- largely due to its none-specific nature. My group is aim to uncover the diverse mechanisms exploited by evolving tumours that cause T cells to lose their ability to detect and eliminate cancer cells in specific patients, and to what extent these functions can be restored and how potential toxic effect could be controlled and exhaustion could be prevented.
We also interested in studying the impact of IFTIM3 genetic variation on Influenza, and other virus infection, immune responses and disease outcome