02 December Seminar – The divergent effects of CD4 T cells and insights on entrepreneurship in science

Carolyn King, UniBasel, basel

Science talk

Activated CD4 T cells have the remarkable ability to differentiate into many different types of effector subsets. This diversification is required for the generation of specialized and pathogen appropriate T cell responses, as well as long-lived and protective memory T cells. Although CD4 memory T cells are clearly important to control various infections (i.e. tuberculosis), vaccines targeting the induction of polyfunctional memory cells have had only limited success. In some cases, CD4 memory T cells can also induce host detrimental effects, for example during chronic viral infection or after organ transplantation. We hypothesize that these divergent effects are dependent on heterogeneity within the CD4 memory T cell compartment, the plasticity of these cells following recall, and their localization relative to other cells or environmental signals. Thus, a major goal of our work is to elucidate the specific factors regulating CD4 memory T cell diversification and their relationship to host immunity. We are using several infection models as well as complementary microscopy approaches to assess the dynamics and flexibility of T cell differentiation.

Carla benichou, Baselaunch, basel

career talk

Very early on during my biology undergraduate studies, I had two somewhat contradictory Have you ever thought about creating your own biotech start-up? Early stage starts up are in demand in Switzerland, as early phase financing increased by 43% in 2020 and life science sector set new records as the investment in biotech grew by 31.3%. This talk will interest you if you want to learn more about entrepreneurship in science and the available support to help you building the next cutting edge therapeutics company. Martyna and Carla will introduce you to BaseLaunch accelerator, its selection process and the program benefits. After this session, you will have a better view on when there is start-up potential, how to go about starting a venture and why the field of start-ups can be an attractive career path. They will go through the real life cases of immunology start-ups to illustrate this.

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