Bob Hancock's Associate Faculty group utilises systems biology methods and differentiated mutant embryonic stem (ES) cells to understand the complex inter-relationship between the host and the pathogen and enable the development of new therapies against infections.
We have proposed that manipulation of natural innate immunity will serve as a new therapeutic strategy against antibiotic-resistant infections. However to understand the assets and potential deficits of such a strategy we need to understand the extremely complex process of innate immunity (involving as many as 5000 biomolecules).
To understand the complexity of host immune responses to pathogens, we will utilise targeted genetic modifications of stem cells, to enable the investigation of mouse and human genes that have important functions in pathogen-host interactions and favourable host immune responses. Cellular responses to pathogens and their immune-stimulatory molecules will involve high-throughput analysis of their phenotypes using our new bioinformatic tools for studying the systems biology of innate immunity.