Wellcome Trust Strategic Award - The Homunculus in our Thymus: A Cellular Genomics Approach

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award - The Homunculus in our Thymus: A Cellular Genomics Approach

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award - The Homunculus in our Thymus: A Cellular Genomics Approach

We have been granted a strategic award from the Wellcome Trust 'The Homunculus in our Thymus: A Cellular Genomics Approach' that enables us to investigate how thymic epithelial cells (TEC) - irrespective of their cell identity - remarkably can express virtually the complete set of protein-coding genes. These studies are relevant to better understand the fundamental function of the immune system and to identify causes of autoimmune diseases.

T-cell mediated responses play a crucial role in providing protective immunity to infections and tumours. The same cells can, under pathological conditions, also be directed against an individual's own tissues resulting in autoimmunity. It is, therefore, essential that T cells can discriminate between injurious foreign and benign self-antigens. This vital competence is instructed during T-cell development by populations of thymic epithelial cells (TEC). To achieve immunological tolerance, TEC promiscuously express and present peripheral tissue-specific antigens and thus foretell the ubiquitous and tissue-specific self-antigens that mature T cells will encounter once they exit from the thymus.

Read More

Research

Sanger Institute-EBI Single-Cell Genomics Centre

The Centre is involved in delivering the research for this Strategic Award

People

Groups

Thierry Voet's group focuses on developing methods that characterise the DNA and RNA in a single cell to enable the exploration of DNA-mutation, the genetic differences between cells in a person's body and the relation of this diversity to disease.

Our aim is to offer a high-quality, high-throughput single cell sequencing service that enables Faculty to study and understand cellular heterogeneity and it’s role in health and disease. We further want to create a collaborative and open environment to foster single cell method development.