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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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Prof Tessa Crompton

Professor of Experimental Immunology

Infection, Immunity & Inflammation Dept

UCL GOS Institute of Child Health

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2007

Research summary

Our research focuses on the control of T cell development in the thymus. The specialized environment of the thymus is essential for efficient production of functional non-self reactive T cells. We aim to understand the way in which signals from the thymic epithelium direct the differentiation of developing T-lineage cells. Currently we are investigating the role of morphogens secreted by the thymic epithelium (Sonic hedgehog (Shh), and Bone morphogenetic protein(BMP)4, in particular) in T cell development. Classical morphogens are secreted signalling molecules that specify cell fate and patterning during embryonic development by providing concentration-dependent positional information. Our work has demonstrated that Shh and BMP4, powerful regulators of embryonic development of many mammalian tissues, also function in the control of self-renewing tissues in the adult, such as the immune system. We showed that Shh and BMP4 are involved in the control of differentiation at multiple stages of T cell development and they now aim to define the molecular events that underlie their functions.

Education

University College London
PhD, Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology | 1990
University of Oxford
BA, Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology | 1986
Publications