It is hoped a better understanding and treatment of autoimmunity will be the outcome of research by Oreste Acuto following a grant award from the Wellcome Trust in April 2016, building on a decade of support from the organisation.
Oreste’s project, titled: “ Initiation, dynamic control and long-term consequences of T cell antigen receptor signalling: understanding etiology and therapy of immune diseases” delves into the war of good and evil constantly underway in our immune system.
T cells are central in clearing our body from pathogenic microbes while maintaining a "good neighbour relationship” with useful symbiotic gut microbes. T cells also play decisive roles to prevent autoimmunity – the state where the immune system attacks our own healthy cells, tissues and organs.
Oreste explains: “Our studies, supported by the Wellcome Trust over the course of the past decade, go to the heart of the molecular mechanisms by which T cells maximize protection, with limited or no collateral damage, and looks into what helps maintain this healthy balance.”
It is hoped the group’s research will lead to the identification of more effective and better-tolerated drugs against organ graft rejection, for early diagnosis of autoimmunity and improved management and/or curing of autoimmune disease.