Using X-rays to shed light on the murky world of T cell communication

Dr Benjamin S Gully

Joint Research Fellow of the Rossjohn Laboratory and ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging,
Monash University

Dr Benjamin Gully is a structural biologist at Monash University. After completing his undergraduate studies in England Ben relocated to Australia to undertake a PhD studying the molecular structures of proteins at The University of Western Australia. In 2014 Ben joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging at Monash University, to study the mechanisms of immune cell activation using world-leading facilities.

T cells - a sub-type of white blood cells, play a key role in the human immune system continuously and autonomously fighting off disease, infection and cancer throughout our bodies. T cells recognise friend from foe on a cellular basis, requiring cellular communication on a minute scale (around 1 millionth the size of a pin head). In order to visualise these hidden interactions, high powered X-rays are used to illuminate them in ways that allow us to better understand the precise mechanisms employed in T cell recognition. In his talk, Ben will explore the science that underpins the development of therapeutic T cell treatments and how X-ray molecular imaging is providing new insights that may one day revolutionise our ability to treat tumours and cancer in the human body.

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