Research objectives and content
One of the fundamental questions in developmental biology is how a differentiating cell decides between alternative fates. Among the most important for T lymphocyte is the commitment of immature double-positive (CD4+CD8+) thymocytes to the CD4 or the CD8 lineages. The interaction between the T cell receptor (TCR) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules of the thymus is central to this decision but the data are controversial and this mechanism remains obscure. Recent evidence indicates that the quality of TCR-MHC interaction could determine the lineage commitment. My project will test this hypothesis by investigating the influence of the TCR-MHC affinity on the decision to become a CD4 or a CD8 T cell. I will use an alphabetaTCR transgenic mouse system in which the TCR specificity will be constrained but the affinity of the TCR -MHC interaction will be variable.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This project will provide me the opportunity to become familiar with several techniques of molecular biology, embryonic stem cells, transgenic mice and a range of immunological techniques.
It will provide me also the possibility to frequently
participate in excellent scientific discussions in a wide variety of areas of life sciences.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)