ERC Starting Grant - Dissecting the context-specificity of genetic immune regulation in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (ImmGenDC)
- Project leader:Dr. Sarah Kim-Hellmuth
- Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital,
- Funding:2022 to 2027
Antiviral immunity and autoimmune diseases exhibit high interindividual variability. Despite intensive research, the genetic and molecular basis of this variability are incompletely understood. A key player of the immune system is the plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC). Recent single-cell (sc) work revealed functionally distinct pDC subsets. Considering that pDCs respond to many pathogens, this highlights a previously underappreciated functional diversity of pDCs.
I hypothesize that the genetic regulation of pDCs plays a fundamental role in explaining antiviral response and autoimmune variability. Based on my previous work on immune cells, this genetic regulation is expected to be highly context-specific depending on cell type, cell response, ancestry populations and sex among other factors.
The overarching goal of this proposal is to elucidate the context-specificity of immune response and its genetic regulation in pDCs to improve our understanding of human antiviral response variation and pinpoint undiscovered disease pathways of autoimmune diseases.
Source: Dr. Kim-Hellmuth