Jamie Heather, PhD
"I am interested in how and why people get sick, despite having highly evolved immune systems designed to prevent just that.
We are using high-throughput DNA sequencing to explore the human T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire on a clonal level, a resolution that has only recently become possible through the ongoing development of deep-sequencing technologies.
By examining the TCR repertoires of healthy individuals, and comparing them to those of patients suffering from a particular disease, we can learn how that disease impacts upon, and is responded to by, the immune system.
My particular focus in the Innate2Adaptive lab is exploring the effects of viral and bacterial infection on the TCR repertoire, to better understand the pathogenesis of these diseases."
James Heather completed his PhD in the Innate2Adpative lab from late 2010 to early 2015, under the primary supervision of Prof. Benny Chain, working on developing and applying methods for the sequencing and analysis of TCR repertoires. Following this, he undertook a short Post Doctoral Research Associate position in the group under the primary supervision of Dr. Maddy Noursadeghi, overlapping the end of his PhD until late 2016, during which time he worked on using high-throughput transcriptome sequencing technologies to better understand the immune system of diseased lymph nodes, in addition to continuing his exploration of diseased TCR repertoires. Following this position Jamie moved to Boston to use his knowledge of TCRs to better understand the immune response towards post-translationally modified antigens in cancer, working with Dr. Mark Cobbold at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"... a knowledge of sequences could contribute much to our understanding of living matter."