Animal Diseases; Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte; CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
My main Research Interests are the activation, differentiation and modulation of T helper cells, as well as their role during immune responses. In particular I am interested in the fine-tuning of particular T helper subsets, as this was shown to have considerable impact on the effectiveness of an immune reaction during murine disease models. Naïve CD4+ T cells achieve this fine-tuning by sensing their environment. Signaling events as well as metabolic conditions connected to epigenetic mechanisms lead to the final identity of a particular T helper cell. As an example I identified Tec as a specific modulator of T helper 17 differentiation with important consequences on the protection against the extracellular bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae following immunization in an infectious mouse model. Together with the laboratory of Ruth Herbst we identified a crucial role for the guanine nucleotide exchange factor designated Rin-like (Rinl) in T helper differentiation processes. Our projects also involve tight collaborations with the clinical departments of the Medical University of Vienna in view of translational applications.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
In vitro cultures of primary murine CD4 T cells. Standard immunological techniques. Murine disease and in vivo models of CD4 T cell function and differentiation. Mouse genetics. Strong expertise in multicolor flow cytometry and in flow cytometric assays to study T cell function. Standard techniques in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry.