Dr. Wendy Havran
Department of Immunology and Microbial Science
The Scripps Research Institute, California Campus
September 12, 2012
Host: Dr. Martin Poenie
“Crosstalk between gd T cells and epithelial cells during homeostasis and tissue repair”
"We have a long-term interest in interactions between intraepithelial γδ T cells and their neighboring epithelial cells. Epithelial tissues including the skin, intestine and lungs are the first point of contact between the immune system and the environment. The intraepithelial γδ T cells provide a first line of defense in these tissues. Our results have defined unique properties of these cells and support a specialized role for epithelial γδ T cells in tissue homeostasis as well as in immune surveillance, wound repair, inflammation, and protection from malignancy. We have identified cell surface molecules and growth factors that regulate epithelial T cell functional responses that have increased our understanding of the role that these cells play in epithelial and mucosal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and wound healing. Chronic wounds are a debilitating problem and new information gained from these studies will be utilized to modulate γδ T cell responses and develop new strategies to accelerate healing."