Sir Charles Hercus health research fellowship (2018 funding round)

Dr Lisa Connor
Victoria University of Wellington
Impact of microenvironment on dendritic cell function
$500,000
48 months

Lay summary

Understanding host-pathogen relationships is key in the rational design of vaccines that prevent disease and improve the health and wellbeing of all individuals. My goal is to understand how dendritic cells orchestrate adaptive immunity – tailored towards the precise and efficient removal of specific pathogens. I seek to identify the mechanisms involved in the dendritic cell decision-making processes and hypothesise that cells present in the microenvironment influence the function of dendritic cells and shape the ensuing immune response. The objectives of this research are to determine the function of innate cytokines and immune cell populations present in lung and skin in the initiation of adaptive immunity and their influence on dendritic cells. This work will lead to the identification of molecules that will guide the generation of vaccines that are optimally formulated to induce the most desired type of immune response.

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