The immunology of B cells in the contexts of immunity and autoimmunity

Project: Research

Project Description

B cells produce antibodies, which are the key molecules that confer long-lasting protection against invading pathogens. When B cells are stimulated under particular inflammatory conditions, they may produce autoantibodies (antibodies against self molecules) that cause destruction of the body’s own cells and tissues. This is the basis of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases, and the primary focus of our research. We aim to characterise the signals that stimulate B cells to produce autoantibodies and to identify the natural mechanisms that prevent this activation. We use a range of cutting edge in vitro techniques, animal models of immunisation and autoimmune disease, and access to our world-leading biobank of human samples to study mechanisms of B cell regulation that will enable us to better understand the processes involved in B cell-mediated autoimmunity. All of our research is motivated by the critical need for better therapies for autoimmune diseases, and we are closely aligned with the Rheumatology Clinical Research Group here at the Monash Medical Centre to position us best to design and test new therapeutic interventions for treatment of autoimmune diseases. These advantages have been recognised by the award of major national and international funding for us to continue our work.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/08/14 → …

Keywords

  • B cells
  • Antibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Lupus
  • Plasma cells
  • Autoantibodies
  • Inflammation