Our research focuses on the adaptive immune system and especially T lymphocytes. We study certain rare congenital immunodeficiencies in order to understand how the immune system maintains immunological tolerance and homeostasis. Even though primary immunodeficiency diseases are rare, they provide important insight how the immune system is controlled in general. Another important clinical situation of severe immunodeficiency is immune reconstitution after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. We aim to understand how the immune system heals after stem-cell transplantation and how we could better predict potential complications in that process.

Specific research questions that we are currently working on

  • What is the role of Helios transcription factor in the adaptive immune system?
  • How is the germinal center reaction controlled?
  • Recent thymic emigrants are the most naïve T cells in the circulation. Can we use them to predict how immune system heals after stem-cell transplantation?
  • How are recent thymic emigrants maintained in the lymph nodes?

Methods in use

In our projects we use a wide selection of modern biomedical methods such as multi-color flow cytometry, multiplex immunofluorescence, RNA sequencing (also on single-cell level), and in vitro functional tests on lymphocytes. We work only with human sample material (blood cells, tissues) so we collaborate closely with different physicians from the Helsinki University Hospital and other hospitals in Finland. We also use sample material from the Finnish biobanks.