This is a two-year position is for a technical research assistant with experience in the running of immunology assays, including cell culture, flow cytometry and biochemical assays. The role focuses on supporting a larger research team in the study of whether an unique potential for activating T cells is provided by proprietary antibody-based reagents that have been developed by the study sponsor (Elstar Therapeutics) and that engage germline-encoded domains of the V-beta chains of the alpha-beta T cell receptor. This is an extremely important project for several reasons.
- Adrian Hayday’s laboratory has identified a set of butyrophilin-like (BTNL) molecules that critically regulate gamma delta T cell selection and maturation by engaging engage germline-encoded domains of the V-gamma chains of the gamma-delta T cell receptor. Moreover, the laboratory has proposed that the unique biological activities of BTNLs reflects their site-of-engagement on the TCR. If analogous signalling is induced by antibody-based reagents that engage analogous sites on V-beta, the “Hayday hypothesis” would receive strong support, and would argue that T cell receptors should no longer be viewed entirely as clonotypic receptors activated by antigens engaging exclusively unique CDR3 motifs. This would provide a new biological paradigm for human T cell regulation. The proprietary reagents provided by Elstar offer an unique opportunity to investigate this.
- There is intense interest in mechanisms by which T cells can be activated without inducing widespread cytokine release and other aspects of hyperactivation that are commonly associated with the use of the pan T cell activator, anti-CD3. Clearly, V-beta-specific reagents potentially offer a means to activate a defined subset of T cells with immunotherapeutic potential.
- Any identification of an unique signalling induced by engaging V-beta could form the basis of a screen for identifying endogenous, BTNL-like molecules that naturally regulate alpha-beta T cells.
This post will provide invaluable experience and an opportunity to work in an internationally respected laboratory as well as gaining experience of working with private sector biotech company.
The post holder will be based in the laboratory of Professor Adrian Hayday which has three main locations: the Programme in Infection and Immunity, Floor 2, Borough Wing; CIBCI, New Hunt’s House; and the Francis Crick Institute
Contact: Dr Adam Laing - Adam.firstname.lastname@example.org