Conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) are leukocytes that although rare, they are positioned to form a network that allows for the surveillance of all our tissues. These cells sense incoming threats through the expression of a vast array of pattern (pathogen and damage) recognition receptors, the engagement of which results in their activation. Following activation, cDCs transport threatening material (in the form of antigens) from the peripheral tissue under attack to the T cells residing in the draining lymph nodes, allowing for the initiation of the adaptive immune response.
cDCs prime different types of adaptive immune responses against different types of threats to the tissues. For example, these cells prime and amplify cytotoxic T cell responses against viruses and cancer but can also induce T cells that promote tissue repair during parasite infections. How these cells achieve these seemingly disparate functions is not fully understood and we propose that this could be linked to their origin.
What is well established is that cDCs are a diverse group of cells encompassing many phenotypically distinct populations. Why, where and how the immune system is generating the diversity of the cDC lineage are the questions that our lab is looking to answer and link back to their diverse functional properties.
We are looking to hire motivated postdoctoral fellows!
Interested applicants should contact Carlos Minutti and include their current CV, personal statement and contact information for 3 referees. The lab is funded by an ERC Starting Grant plus the internal funds.