Centre for Micro-Photonics

Cell fate determination for immune responses

This project focuses on single-cell pedigree analysis to understand the mechanisms of fate determination during T cell development, leukaemia and immune responses.

Programming of cell fate determination underpins the appropriate development of all cells. Cancer can arise when this programming goes awry. Understanding how cell fate programming works will lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities for leukaemia and to improved immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases.

We've developed new methods for imaging single cells and their progeny through many generations of T cell development and activation. These methods mean that we can now assemble pedigrees that describe both the relationships between different differentiation stages and molecular and behavioural attributes of their ancestors and progeny.

We're now developing new computational approaches to analyse these pedigrees and to determine the relative contributions of genetic, epigenetic, extrinsic and stochastic influences on fate determination.