Islet-specific T cell responses in type 1 diabetes

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Associate Professor Emma

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the most common chronic disease of childhood. It is triggered by an immune dysregulation causing T cells to attack the insulin-producing islet b cells in the pancreas. This results in elevated blood-glucose and severe life-long complications. Our laboratory aims to develop a T cell targeted immunotherapy to prevent or treat T1D. For this goal to be successful, better tools are needed to detect and characterise islet-specific T cells in patient blood as a way to monitor responses to immunotherapy. An understanding is needed of how these T cell responses vary between different patient groups. This project aims to develop an approach to personalised immunomonitoring of islet specific T cells using state-of-the-art high-parameter immune profiling, single cell sequencing and clonotype analysis of islet-specific T cells in patient blood. This approach will later be used to characterise how these T cells respond to immunotherapy. The ideal candidate will have prior knowledge and academic achievement in the field of immunology. Practical experience in T cell biology, autoimmunity or sequencing analysis would be desirable. This project is aligned with a National Health and Medical Research Council funded grant and will be co-supervised by A/Prof Emma Hamilton-Williams, Prof Ranjeny Thomas and Dr Mark Harris. The supervisor team are highly experienced and provide broad expertise and experience in immunology, translational and clinical research.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of immunology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of immunology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of T cell biology or autoimmunity is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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