I will present high- and super-resolution microscopy data which reveal novel insights into molecular recognition by human Natural Killer (NK) cells and macrophages. I will discuss how genetic diversity in NK cell inhibitory receptors impacts the nanoscale organisation of the protein at cell surfaces, both of which effect receptor signalling. I will also show that receptor shedding promotes the detachment of immune cells from target cells to aid serial engagement of multiple target cells. In this way, counter-intuitively, shedding of activating receptors on immune cells can positively impact immune responses.
Daniel M Davis began studying the immune system at Harvard University with Jack Strominger, after obtaining a PhD in Physics in Glasgow, UK. Currently, he is a Professor of Immunology at Manchester University and Director of Research in the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research. Prior to this, he was the Head of the Immunology Section at Imperial College London in South Kensington. He has published well over 120 academic papers, cited over 10,000 times, including articles in Nature, Science and Scientific American. His work has helped establish new concepts in how immune cells communicate with each other and how they detect signs of disease in other cells. He became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011 and currently chairs their selection panel for immunology candidates. He is also the author of a popular-level book THE COMPATIBILITY GENE, described by Bill Bryson in the Guardian’s Books of the Year as ‘elegantly written and unexpectedly gripping’. His second book, THE BEAUTIFUL CURE, has been described by Stephen Fry as ‘One of those books that makes you look at everything human in a new, challenging and thrilling way’.