Johan Verhagen is Research Associate in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol.
His research interests cover the role of CTLA-4 in immune regulation. CTLA-4 is a co-stimulatory molecule, similar to CD28. Unlike CD28 however, CTLA-4 is generally thought to inhibit T cell activation rather than promote it.
Its expression on T regulatory cells and the rapid onset of autoimmune disease in the absence of CTLA-4 suggest this molecule plays an important role in immune regulation. The effect of CTLA-4 on individual T cell subsets and its mechanism of action remain debated. Our main aims are to better understand the role of CTLA-4 in;
- Thymic development of natural T regulatory cells
- Peripheral development of inducible T regulatory cell types
- The suppressive effect of T regulatory cells