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Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a specialised subset of T cells that preserve immune homeostasis by restraining auto-reactive and inflammatory T cells. These cells also perform non-immune functions, which include tissue repair, organ regeneration and regulation of whole-body glucose metabolism. To be able to populate diverse tissues and organs, Treg cells utilise distinct tissue adaptation mechanisms. In his talk, Dr Vasanthakumar will discuss sexual dimorphism in visceral adipose tissue resident Treg cells and how these differences are imprinted by the tissue microenvironment in a sex-hormone-dependent manner (Vasanthakumar et al, Nature 2020; Vasanthakumar et al, Nature Immunology 2015). He will also discuss recent findings from his laboratory on mammary adipose Treg cells and their role in breast cancer.
Dr Ajith Vasanthakumar
Ajith Vasanthakumar is an NHMRC investigator and head of Tissue and Tumour Immunity Laboratory at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI). He obtained his PhD from Madurai Kamaraj University, India followed by postdoctoral stints at the Burnet Institute, WEHI and Doherty Institute, before starting his laboratory at the ONJCRI in 2021. Using cutting-edge molecular techniques and novel mouse models, his laboratory investigates the transcriptional and metabolic underpinnings of regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation and tissue adaptation.
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