The role of tissue-resident memory T cells in barrier immunity, cancer and autoimmune diseases

Project Details

Infections are commonly acquired through barrier tissues such as the skin, gut and lung, hence establishing memory CD8+ killer T cell populations at these sites is critical for effective immune protection. Likewise, an effective local memory CD8+ T cell response is critical to cancer immunosurveillance, preventing the development and spread of solid tumours. While most memory T cells circulate in the blood, a distinct lineage, termed tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells, resides and remains in peripheral tissues. Our group has shown that these cells form a defensive barrier providing immediate local control of viral infection and cancer recurrence. Our current research focuses on developing novel strategies to boost TRM cell responses, and therefore exploit these cells in settings such as vaccination and cancer immunotherapy. Work in our laboratory also aims to understand the role of TRM cells in autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis and alopecia areata and investigate new approaches to eliminate pathological cells from peripheral tissues.

Research Group

Mackay laboratory: Tissue-resident memory T cells; lymphocyte differentiation; peripheral immunity

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Microbiology and Immunology

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.