The vast majority of microbial-immune encounters occur as a symbiotic relationship with the commensal microbiota. Despite this, the characteristics and properties of commensal-specific T cells, and their contribution to tissue homeostasis remain poorly understood. Recently, we have begun to explore the function and regulation of commensal-specific T cells resident within the skin. We have identified that commensal-specific T cells establish tissue residency, display an epigenetic and transcriptional landscape distinct from canonical T cell subsets that is poised to bolster skin barrier function by enhancing both protective immunity and wound repair.
Dr. Oliver Harrison obtained his D. Phil in Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine, in 2013, from the University of Oxford. As a student in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Maloy, he investigated the role of IL-1 family cytokines in intestinal inflammation and immune regulation. Currently, as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, USA, working with Dr. Yasmine Belkaid, his current research focuses on the genetic regulation of commensal-specific T cell responses during homeostasis and inflammation.