Master thesis project / student project in immunology at Karolinska Institutet

Posted 2 weeks ago

Deciphering the third branch of adaptive immunity: a quest for gamma delta T cell receptor ligands

Three types of antigen receptors – B cell receptor (BCR), alpha beta T cell receptor (abTCR) and gamma delta T cell receptor (gdTCR) – define the three types of adaptive lymphocytes that constitute the adaptive immune system of all jawed vertebrates. While we know a lot about antigen recognition and functions of B cells and ab T cells, our knowledge on gdTCR specificities and therefore gd T cell functions remains rudimentary. Despite the increasing indirect evidence for recognition of endogenous ligands by gdTCRs, most gdTCRs remain orphan receptors. In an attempt to identify ligands for gdTCRs, we utilized a novel reporter system to screen a wide panel of gdTCRs against a collection of cell lines. This resulted in identification of ligand-expressing cells for several gdTCRs. The aim of this master student project will be to search for molecular determinants that are responsible for this reactivity.

We are seeking a highly motivated student with a strong desire to study basic principles of immune system function. The successful candidate will join an international team of enthusiastic researchers. A minimum of 4-6 months are required for execution of this ambitious project. Experimental approaches that the student will master include advanced flow cytometry, molecular cloning, cell culture and virus-mediated gene delivery (prior knowledge of some of these techniques is an advantage).

Please get in touch with Josefine Dunst (josefine.dunst@ki.se).

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