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Professor Mark Davis talks about his research on T cell receptors and his early tetramer collaboration with Oxford. These tetramers did overcome the very low affinity but high specificity of T cell receptors. Professor Davis stresses the importance of working not only on laboratory models, but on human samples.

Professor Davis also emphasises the need of a repository of samples, particularly when studying vaccines. Memory T cells are acquired during a lifetime even when individuals are not in contact with a certain infection, by cross reactivity to other antigens. This partially explains why young children are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

Professor Mark Davis

T and B cells recognition

mark-headshot.jpgProfessor Mark Davis is Director of the Stanford Institute for Immunology. He is known for identifying the elusive T Cell receptor genes, which allow T lymphocytes to fight disease-causing microbes. Since identifying these genes in the 1980s, Professor Davis has discovered a number of other important genes, which are expressed by lymphocytes, including BLIMP-1, the first master regulatory gene in these cells, and Granulysin, an important natural defence against tuberculosis. Professor Davis has also pioneered the development of diagnostic assays for immune function, first with peptide-MHC tetramers, and more recently, the invention of a high throughput cellular array system, which can analyse different types of blood cells simultaneously.

Translational Medicine

From Bench to Bedside

Ultimately, medical research must translate into improved treatments for patients. At the Nuffield Department of Medicine, our researchers collaborate to develop better health care, improved quality of life, and enhanced preventative measures for all patients. Our findings in the laboratory are translated into changes in clinical practice, from bench to bedside.