Division of Infection and Immunity


Professor David Sansom

Professor of Transplant Immunology


Research in the Sansom lab focusses on fundamental aspects of how immune checkpoints influence T cell activation decisions.

Research summary

The activation of T cells is a critical part of the immune response. Without effective T cell responses we could not fight infections properly and vaccines would not work. However, T cell responses can also be dangerous to our bodies and it is clear that diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type-I diabetes as well as rejection of transplanted organs all involve unwanted T cell responses.

My laboratory works on fundamental aspects of how T cells determine whether to make immune responses or not. In particular we focus on the interplay between two receptors on T cells, CD28 and CTLA-4 and their binding partners, CD80 and CD86.  Our work on the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms has led to advances in understanding how the CD28/CTLA-4 system functions and this knowledge has been used to develop tests of human T cell function and regulatory T cell suppression.


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