Dr Katherine Wynn - Current Projects

T-cells are responsible for protecting us against infections and cancer. There are only a limited number of T-cells in our body, but they must recognise the full range of foreign and abnormal self proteins presented to them. The T-cells achieve this through their T-cell receptor (TCR). The clonotypic composition of the T-cells that respond to a given antigen can be measured by examining their TCR, using molecular techniques. This allows us to determine whether the T-cells within the population (and also between different individuals) use similar or diverse TCRs. The differences in the composition of the TCR repertoire have been shown to affect the functional efficiency of the T-cell population, and have been used to predict the outcome of infection in animal models (eg. SIV in macaques). A better understanding of the factors governing an effective T cell response through clonotypic analyses of the TCR could then be exploited to better design vaccines.

I am currently performing TCR clonotypic analyses on T cell populations specific for a range of viruses and tumours, using both human and murine models. I am working in conjunction with a number of collaborators both in the UK and internationally.

Random TCRs