Sophie Hesketh

Sophie Hesketh

Presently: Biochemistry Undergraduate, undertaking a Professional Training Year (PTY) at the Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity, under the supervision of Dr Pierre Rizkallah and Dr David Cole.My main project for this year focuses on the production, and subsequent crystal analysis, of the Human Leukocyte Antigen DR1 (HLA-DR1), complexed with both a wild type, and modified peptide. The aim of this is to gain insight into the structural and biophysical interactions between the peptide itself and DR1, and then between the p-DR1 and an antigen specific TCR (via co-crystallisation). The DR proteins form part of the greater family of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II (MHC Class II) receptors, of which very little is known. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved during peptide presentation and TCR binding, would aid understanding of T-Cell recognition, and binding specificity, in the adaptive immune response; an essential part of human immunology.