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BMS Seminar: Curiouser and curiouser: regulating the remarkable intracellular dynamics of killer T cells, Professor Gillian Griffiths, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

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Location: A151, Medical School Building

Abstract: Killer cells of the immune system provide a vital defence against pathogens and cancer. There is increasing interest in understanding how these cells work as recent advances in immunotherapies have successfully harnessed the killing potential of these cells to combat cancers. How best to optimise these treatments and regulate killing is the subject of intense research. However, most research to date has focused on modifying the receptors that recognise targets at the cell surface. In this seminar I will describe what happens underneath the surface of these cells when they encounter their targets and the multiple mechanisms that regulate killer cell function by mechanisms that are both unusual and fascinating, linking rapid membrane changes to changes in transcription, translation and intracellular polarity that are all required for optimal killing.


Gillian GriffithsShort biography: Professor Gillian Griffiths obtained her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology with Cesar Milstein. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, she started her own research laboratory at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland in 1990. She subsequently held posts at University College London, the Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford (1997-2007) before moving to the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research where she was Director 2102-2017. She was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2005); EMBO (2006), and the Royal Society (2013).

She was awarded the Royal Society Buchanan medal (2019) in recognition of her ground-breaking research establishing the fundamental cell biological mechanisms that drive CTL killing, laying the foundations for the development of targeted cancer immunotherapy

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