Experimental and Translational Medicine


Akbar Laboratory

Arne Akbar Lab research investigates mechanisms that control the differentiation and senescence/ageing of human T lymphocytes. We were also one of the first to identify human regulatory T cells and show that they are maintained by a high rate of proliferation in vivo.

For the last 15 years my laboratory has focused on mechanisms of immune decline during ageing and we have identified a key role of p38 MAP kinase signalling in regulating both nutrient and senescence sensing pathways in human T cells.

We also developed new technology for investigating immunity in human skin in vivo that have been adopted by other research groups in both academia and the biotech industry. Current collaborations using these methods include those with The University of Arizona, The Rockefeller University (New York) and the National University of Singapore.


  • Clinical trials, healthy volunteer studies
  • T-cell, monocyte, macrophage flow cytometry (up to 20 colours)
  • High throughput (Axio-scan) and confocal microscopy (4 colour)
  • Microtome and cryostat sectioning of skin - Histology to identify distinct cells
  • p16 and TAF histology on skin to identify and characterise senescence
  • Standard molecular techniques (Western blot, RNA extraction, ELISA, etc)
  • Cell isolation and culture from skin biopsies
  • Tissue culture experiments to induce and study senescence in fibroblasts and other cell types
  • Co-culture models of cell interaction and senescence