(2.) CD8+ T cell differentiation and migration

T cell based vaccines represent a promising approach for generating protection against different pathogens, such as HIV-1 and Malaria, as well as for therapeutic vaccination against cancer. However, to effectively use this approach, many of the processes regulating cell differentiation and migration, and especially distribution between different organs, are still incompletely understood. Elucidating the spatio-temporal dynamics of CD8+ T cell differentiation and migration in response to infection and immunization represents a prerequisite for the design of effective vaccination strategies. Mathematical methods and computational tools are thereby essential.  


Memory CD8+ T cell dynamics in MCMV infection

Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a beta-herpesvirus that establishes life-long persistence in healthy individuals, received some attention as a potential vaccine vector against persistent infections. The specific CD8+ T cell response against this virus can be distinguished into two type of cell populations: (i) non-inflationary CD8+ T cells which are comparable in kinetic, function and phenotype to CD8+ T cells that develop during acute resolved infections, and (ii) inflationary CD8+ T cells which increase in number after resolution of acute infection and eventually stabilize at high frequencies with life-long persistence, a phenomenon which is called "memory inflation".

In this project, we are studying inflationary and non-inflationary CD8+ T cell populations in response to murine CMV (MCMV) infection. We aim at describing and quantifying the dynamics and interaction of different subsets of memory cells to determine how inflationary CD8+ T cells are generated and maintained. This project is done in close collaboration with Roland Regoes and Annette Oxenius at the ETH Zurich and funded by BIOMS.

Contact: E-Mail (Last update: 11/06/2018)