Aire expressing innate-like type 3 cells (Aire+ ILC3-like cells) are recently discovered subgroup of ILC3 cells. Conventional ILC3 cells are crucial in the response to extracellular pathogens due to their ability to rapidly produce and secrete cytokines. In contrast, Aire+ ILC3-like cells are equipped with powerful antigen presentation capacity and have striking ability to modulate the T-cell responses. Aire+ ILC3-like cells are considered part of the ILC3-linage as their development depends on master transcription factor Rorγt and they have lymphoid morphology. On the other hand, there are also clear dissimilarities between these cells and conventional ILC3s – for instance the low expression of Il7Rα, presence of antigen presentation machinery and high expression of costimulatory molecules. Given to their recent discovery, signals and pathways leading to Aire+ ILC3-like cells development and their precise relationship with other ILC3 cells remains poorly understood. 

The proposed project combines lineage tracing techniques, single cell transcriptomics, flow cytometry and the usage of advanced animal models to delineate signals and cell-fate decisions leading to development of Aire+ ILC3-like cells. The second branch of this project will focus on human counterparts of Aire+ ILC3-like cells. Use of humanized animal models and in vitro cell cultures will enable not only developmental but importantly also functional studies. The assessment of Aire+ ILC3-like cells function and determination of signals governing their development is a crucial prerequisite for the future translation of our findings into human medicine. 

The project is well suited for students with deep interest in immunology, hematology and developmental biology. Our team is deeply interested in host-pathogen interaction, antigen presentation by non-classical antigen presenting cells and regulation of adaptive immune responses. We are looking for talented, friendly and enthusiastic new lab member with proven laboratory experience. Although the strong background in immunology, cell biology and molecular biology is a great advantage, motivation is the most important requirement.

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