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Start date

October 2016

Project title

Investigation on the Role of ST2 and IL-33 in Transplant Tolerance


Dr Joanna Hester, Dr Fadi Issa

Kento Kawai

Bachelor of Arts

MSc student

Prior to coming on board to this programme, I grew up in the United States where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). I had gained experience and interest in transplantation research in my time working as a research assistant at the Center for Transplantation Sciences at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts), where I first started studying the function of Tregs and many of their pathways in nonhuman primate models and their role in long-term allograft survival.

I am currently a first year MSc research student in the Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG). In my research, I hope to investigate the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the induction of long-term allograft survival and their specific pathways affecting transplant organ tolerance. In recent years, Tregs have been an immensely popular and promising target of interest in transplantation research because of their perceived role in suppressing immune response after transplantation. Specifically, my research is focused on an interleukin called IL-33 and its receptor ST2, and I aim to study these pathways and their role in expanding Tregs. It is thought that enhancing Treg activity through different pathways, such as the IL-33/ST2 axis, may be the key to harness the induction of specific immunologic tolerance.