We have been employing T and B cell receptor repertoire analysis tools to explore the nature of adaptive immune responses under different circumstances and in different vertebrate species. The seminar will focus on our work in mice and chickens considering how repertoire analyses can provide insight into the basic biology of T cells, infection-driven T cell tumours and microbiome-immune relationships. I will also introduce a murine system that employs restricting T cell repertoires as a tool that supports identification of protective antigens in relation to vaccine development against antigenically complex infectious agents.
My scientific career began in Glasgow and Nottingham, considering the relationships between infection and immunity, particularly focussing on immune mechanisms in the gut. I continued this theme during a post doc in Adrian Hayday’s laboratory at Yale principally working on gut immune mechanisms and the function of TCR T cells. In 1997 I established my Enteric Immunology group at the Institute for Animal Health focussing on immunity to infection in rodent and avian systems. In 2008 I relocated my group to the Department of Zoology, Oxford where we have continued to work on aspects of innate and adaptive immunity widening our comparative approach to include an ever-widening collection of different species. Part of the group work on the evolution of pattern recognition receptors whilst others focus on adaptive immunity (including repertoire analysis) and various infection systems. Some of the group also work with ancient DNA of pathogens and their hosts.