Vaccination saves lives because of the immune system property known as memory. Although the majority of successful vaccines rely on antibody-producing B cells, the T-cell arm of the immune system also maintains long-term memory. Understanding the mechanisms that control the abundance of cell subsets is key to therapeutically targeting immune responses. Ultimately, this understanding must be sought in quantitative terms, establishing how the rates of cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and death are determined by molecular mechanisms and cellular interactions.
The key to understanding long-term T cell memory lies in unravelling the in vivo dynamics of T cell subsets and their spatial compartmentalisation in the human body, including central, effector, stem-cell, and the recently-identified tissue-resident, memory cells. It remains unclear to what extent long-lived memory T cell populations are maintained by self-renewal, influx from other cell populations, or the longevity of individual cells. Current debate about the role of the bone marrow compartment, for example, demonstrates the difficulty of quantitating the dynamics of memory T cell populations outside the blood.
In this ETN, European scientists have come together to deliver a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary and intersectoral research training programme for 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs).
The scientific objectives of QuanTII are to develop novel quantitative understanding of
By combining the expertise of leading EU scientists in immunology, medicine, mathematics, statistics and bioinformatics, within an international, multidisciplinary and intersectoral environment, QuanTII will deliver a unique research programme. We aim to to anchor mathematical modelling as a hypothesis-generating and testing tool to help foster new understanding of immune responses in health and disease.
QuanTII brings together eight beneficiaries who participated in a previous ITN (called QuanTI), with two new ones, as well as six academic, clinical, industrial and government partner organisations (POs). Thus, the consortium is in an exceptional position to offer a distinctive and original research and training programme to the recruited ESRs. It will equip them with a wide portfolio of transferable skills and secondments, will enable them to communicate research findings effectively to both scientific and public audiences and will prepare them for employment in academia, industry and government.
|Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union|