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Prof Benedict Seddon
Institute of Immunity and Transplantation
Royal Free Hospital
Prof Benedict Seddon profile picture
  • Professor of Immune Cell Homeostasis
  • Div of Infection & Immunity
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

I had the good fortune to undertake a PhD with Prof Don Mason at the former MRC's Cellular Immunology Unit, at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford University. We studied the role and mechanisms of regulatory T cells in the control of autoimmunity in rats. I then moved to the MRCs National Institute for Medical Research where I worked first as a post-doc with Dr Rose Zamoyska in the Division of Molecular Immunology, and then started my independent research group as a Programme Leader in the Division of Immune Cell Biology. 10 years at NIMR allowed me to establish a research programme investigating the mechanisms of T cell homeostasis, generating novel genetic models of TCR and cytokine signalling, employing mathematical approaches to gain systems level understanding and identifying novel roles for inflammatory signalling for T cell maturation. In 2013, I relocated the lab to the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation at the Royal Free Hospital Campus of University College London, where I am investigating the role of TNFSFR signalling and NF-kappaB transcription factors in the maturation and function of T cells in health and disease. 

Research Summary

T lymphocytes are immune cells that play a central role in regulating immune responses. There are several T cell types, all with different functions, so having the right number and composition of these cells is essential for a normal immunity to infection.

The focus of my group is on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate development and maintenance of mature T cells. We have a particular interested in how developing T cells become fully functional and the mechanisms controlling survival and proliferation once full maturity has been attained.

We use mouse genetics to dissect the signalling pathways and molecular mechanisms regulating T cell development and homeostasis. Currently we are focused in the role of NF-kB signalling, as we have identified a key role for this family of transcription factors for the normal development of T cells. 

To gain systems level understanding of complex cellular behaviours of the immune system, we have recently established a temporal fate mapping method that allows us to visualise and investigate the processes underlying tonic reconstitution of the immune system throughout the life course of a host. Employing mathematical analysis is key to understanding and interpreting the data from these experiments. We develop mathematical models of key immunological processes that test our understanding, provide novel insights into systems function and generate new hypotheses that can in turn be tested in the laboratory.

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