Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Research Associate







Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus




Suppresion of adaptive immunity by the Salmonella effector SteD

Efficient immune response towards intracellular bacterial pathogens (eg. Salmonella) depends on proper mode of activation of CD4 T lymphocytes. This is mediated by antigen presenting cells such as dendritic cells (DCs). DCs trigger CD4 T lymphocyte-dependent specific immune response by presenting foreign antigens on major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII). Salmonella evolved a mechanism to specifically block antigen presentation by MHCII thus inhibiting onset of appropriate immune response.

The aim of this project is to reach a deep characterization of the functions of the Salmonella effector SteD on host MHCII-dependent specific immunity in an attempt to prepare a new tool for wider use in clinical practice. To reach this main goal, the work is divided into the following objectives: i) characterization of the effects of SteD on T cell activation in context of host organism; ii) obtaining a detailed understanding of SteD activity on molecular level; iii) identification of proteins targeted by SteD to modulate functions of T lymphocytes; iv) development of SteD as a tool usable for controlled modulation of adaptive immunity.