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John Radcliffe Hospital, Level 5 and 6, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU

Start date

October 2016

Project title                         

Immunometabolism in Human T lymphocytes


Dr Joanna Hester

Dr Fadi Issa

Hisashi Hashimoto

DPhil student

I am currently a first year DPhil student supervised by Dr Joanna Hester and Dr Fadi Issa. My research focuses on immunometabolism in Human T lymphocytes.

Highly proliferating cells such as within malignant tumours utilise aerobic glycolysis to overcome limited oxygen supplies and/or obtain energy and macromolecules rapidly. Naïve T cells have similarly been observed to employ aerobic glycolysis upon activation. The activated naïve T cells (effector T cells) largely rely on aerobic glycolysis for their energy supply probably to overcome the environments of low oxygen tension, such as within inflamed tissues. The mechanisms of metabolism in human memory and regulatory T cells however, remain unclear.

By investigating the roles of specific metabolic pathways in governing the expansion and function of each T cell subset, we hope to be able to develop new therapeutic strategies capable of targeting these pathways in the treatment of transplant rejection, autoimmune disease and cancer.

Background: After being an unsuccessful Rock’n’Roll drummer in Tokyo and London, and working as a stonemason (Tokyo) and a bartender (London); I obtained a medical degree from the First faculty of medicine at the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) before completing a MSc in Integrated Immunology from the University of Oxford.

I have a special interest in immunotolerance, especially in regulatory T cells which have an important role in many diseases including autoimmune diseases and cancers.  Since completing my masters degree, I have studied within the Transplant Research Immunology Group (TRIG) which focuses on regulatory T cell therapy in transplantation.