The Janus-face of Immunological Tolerance and Cancer Immunity
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
1g Royal Parade
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Daniel Gray's laboratory seeks to understand how the immune system decides whether to attack or not. Many mechanisms have evolved to prevent the immune system from destroying our own tissues, but these mechanisms can also stymie responses to cancer. Understanding how these mechanisms work together is a major theme of Daniel's research and he aims to translate these insights into novel treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Janus was one of the few Roman deities that wasn’t completely ripped off from the ancient Greeks. He was the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways and endings. Janus is invoked here to highlight two major themes of this talk:
The duality of mechanisms that suppress immune activation; on one hand, they are essential for preventing autoimmunity but on the other, they confound the rejection of cancers.
The concept of transitions is important because Daniel and his lab have found that synergy between multiple checkpoints are the most potent for preserving tolerance or mobilising cancer immunity.
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