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Podcast 'Infectious diseases in China'

Tao Dong

Founding Director (Oxford), Professor of Immunology

Human T cell response against virus and Cancer

The main objective of my group’s research is to focus on the functional aspects of the antigen specific T cells and studying the factors affecting T cells in controlling virus infection and cancer development.

For important human infections, cancer development and the course of disease is influenced mainly by the T cell response - while a robust and appropriate T cell response is beneficial to the host, a weak or inappropriate response can be ineffective or even have a detrimental effect. Numerous factors influence the quality of the T cell response to viral infections, predominant among them being the microenvironment of the infection site, the type of cells infected and the variability of the virus. By understanding the key factors required for efficient viral control by the T cell response in a number of different viral infections and viral associated cancer, we aim to augment and control the immune response to as a way of improving the outcome of in several important human diseases. Current research program  including:

  • To characterise human Tumor specific cytotoxic T cell responses beyond T cell receptor
  • To identify the factors determining functional avidity and cancer efficacy of tumor specific cytotoxic T cells in cancer micro-environment 
  • To study the factors affecting the antigen processing and presentation in cancer cells
  • To define the impact of IFTIM3 genetic variation on Influenza, and other virus infection, immune responses and disease outcome