Helper T cells (Th) are a vital component of the immune system responsible for directing other immune cells to eliminate pathogens and cancer. Specifically, Th cells facilitate B cell and cytotoxic T cell (Tc) activation and recruitment and enhance their function against cancer and infectious diseases. Th cells are a valuable resource for improving Tc responses in cancer treatment and have become a focus of immunotherapeutic research. While it is increasingly clear that helper T cells serve an important role, the details about which entities produce an effective Th cell response remain unclear. CD5 is a T cell co-receptor that negatively regulates T cell activation and helps fine-tune the TCR repertoire by altering TCR signaling during the selection process in the thymus. This work discusses the role of the co-receptor CD5 in influencing Th cell metabolism, as well as the study of two T cells called LLO118 and LLO56 that have different CD5 expression levels, and their functional response to altered peptides. Antibodies have revolutionized the world of cancer research and accelerated the development of therapies that trigger the immune system to target disease. In recent years, many antibody-based immunotherapies have emerged as effective candidates for combating cancer due to their refined specificity and ability to target a variety of epitopes. However, many therapies, such as those that target CD19 on B cell cancers, are also present on healthy cells, destroying both cancerous and healthy cells alike. Thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) is an enzyme involved in the DNA salvage pathway that converts thymidine into the nucleotide thymine. Recently, TK1 has been shown to be overexpressed on the surface of many cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Importantly, TK1 is not expressed on the surface of healthy cells, making it an ideal cancer-specific antigen that can be targeted for cancer treatment. This work discusses our efforts to characterize TK1-specific single-chain antibodies from a yeast display library. According to the World Health Organization, genomics is defined as the study of all genes and their related functions. In contrast to genetics, genomics analyzes the entire DNA makeup of an organism rather than a single gene. In the past 20 years, the cost of genomic sequencing has decreased dramatically, making it affordable and accessible. A key area that must be addressed with genomic testing involves education about their promise, challenges, potential consequences, and ethical considerations. Genomic testing provides a powerful opportunity to educate everyone on scientific and ethical issues to increase understanding on the subject. This work discusses the influence of personal genomics in society and focuses on the importance, benefits, and consequences of genomics education in the classroom, clinic, and the public.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology



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CD5, co-receptor, helper T cell, metabolism, T cell receptor, proliferation, altered peptide ligand, macrophage, thymidine kinase 1, yeast display, ADCC, genomics



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Life Sciences Commons