Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is considered the gold standard procedure for the treatment of blood cancers. Globally, over 9000 patients per year undergo this high-risk, life-saving therapy. However, major complications limit the therapeutic potential of this treatment which include graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infections due to the severe immunosuppression in these patients. Respiratory syncytial viral (RSV) infection is frequent in these patients, is often fatal and clearly a significant clinical problem. Thus, there is a pressing need for new treatment approaches to improve transplant outcome for these patients. We have established a novel, robust, preclinical model of RSV infection after alloSCT using Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM), the murine relative of RSV, to enable mechanistic pathways to be investigated.
Approaches/skills and techniques
This is dependent on the study level of the student but will involve multi-parameter flow cytometry, RT-qPCR and immunoassays of samples collected from PVM infected mice after alloSCT. The student will gain practical laboratory experience and further his/her knowledge in the transplantation field. The student will have the opportunity to observe and learn other techniques/skills in addition to those required for this project and will work in a stimulating and supportive research environment. Please contact the QIMRB supervisor for more details.
Aim: To determine the immune cells and cytokines that are dysregulated after alloSCT in the context of a PVM infection.
Required skills and experience
This project is open to applications from students with an interest and background in immunology, particularly students interested in pursuing an Honours and/or PhD in medical research. Excellent written and oral communication skills are required.