Prof. Sarina Ravens, PhD
Institute of Immunology, OE 5240
Phone: +49 511 532 9739
T cells and B cells are characterized by expression of individual immune cell receptors, which recognize various antigens and mount immune responses. One subset of T cells, known as γδ T cells because they express the γδ T cell receptor (TCR), has a complex and incompletely understood biology.
We have developed state-of-the-art next generation sequencing and systems biology approaches to examine gene expression patterns and γδ TCR repertoire information, revealing adaptive-like expansions of postnatal-derived γδ T cells upon viral infections and that prenatal-derived γδ T cells develop with pre-set effector capabilities to be immediately responsive after birth.
In our ongoing research we hypothesis that intrinsic and extrinsic factors guide the development of γδ T cells and their immune surveillance properties in early life. In close cooperation with MHH-internal and external cooperation partners (e.g. from Ghana), we now study the earliest maturation traits, vulnerability to perturbations, and their role in the critical early life immune system.