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DEC 03, 2020 10:30 AM PST

The Immunology of COVID-19: A dynamic immune signature for prognosis and spatial transcriptomics of lung tissue

Sponsored by: NanoString Technologies
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speakers
  • Peter Doherty NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
    Biography
      Dr Arutha Kulasinghe completed his PhD in 2017 at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). In 2019, Dr Kulasinghe began a Peter Doherty NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to develop predictive biomarkers of immunotherapy response in head and neck and lung cancers. Dr Kulasinghe aims to spatially map these tumours to understand the tumour/immune contexture using novel digital spatial mapping technology. This data may be a powerful tool to determine a personalised course of treatment for individual cancer patients.

      Dr Kulasinghe is supported by a number of funding agencies including the NHMRC, Cure Cancer, Can Too Foundation, Translational Research Institute (TRI), Princess Alexandra Research Foundation (PARF) and the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation (GPRWMF) and has published his work in over 25 Cancer/Oncology journals with multiple invited National/International presentations. More recently, he's been awarded a 'Scholar-in-Training' award to present at AACR 2020.
      Twitter: @aruthak
    • PostDoc fellow at the Immunosurveillance Lab at the Francis Crick Institute
      Biography

        I am currently a PostDoc fellow at the Immunosurveillance Lab at the Francis Crick Institute. During the last 10 years, I have performed my work in 3 different research institutes in 3 different countries (Spain -Complutense University of Madrid-, Portugal -Instituto de Medicina Molecular-, and the UK -The Francis Crick Institute-), where I have had the opportunity not only to develop experience in cell biology and immunology but also to observe and take part in the development of different aspects of science policy, such as scientific training, networking, and university teaching. I have investigated in the field of T cells with an especial interest on γδ T cells in both mouse and human.  Results and achievements are listed below: - TCR signal strength controls thymic differentiation of discrete proinflammatory γδ T cell subsets. Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. Nat Immunol. 2016 Jun; 17(6):721-7. - Primary T-cell immunodeficiency with functional revertant somatic mosaicism in CD247. Marin AV, Jiménez-Reinoso A, Briones AC, Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al., J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Aug 20. pii: S0091-6749(16)30619-4. - Enrichment of the rare CD4+ γδ T cell subset in patients with atypical CD3δ deficiency. Garcillán B, Mazariegos MS, Fisch P, Res PC, Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014; 133 (4); 1205-8. - Human CD3γ, but not CD3δ, haploinsufficiency differentially impairs γδ versus αβ surface TCR expression. BMC Immunology. Muñoz-Ruiz M, et al. 2013, 14(1):3. In addition to this, since March 13th, 2020, I have joined the Covid-IP (Covid–ImmunoPhenotype) project with the aim of understanding the status of the immune system in persons who are or who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 disease.


      Abstract

      The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 and has spread globally, causing a pandemic of respiratory illness designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Two studies on the immunology of COVID-19 are included in this webinar: First, Miguel Muñoz-Ruiz, PhD from the Francis Crick Institute and his colleagues have identified several traits, including cytokine and chemokine profiles, and the status of defined immune cell subsets that may facilitate the early identification of COVID-19 patients at greatest risk for requiring prolonged hospital treatment. Second, Arutha Kulasinghe, PhD and his colleagues at Queensland University of Technology used spatial transcriptomics to generate an in-depth picture of the pulmonary transcriptional landscape of patients who died of COVID-19, and compared it to those who died of pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza and uninfected control patients. Host transcriptomics showed a significant upregulation of genes associated with inflammation, type I interferon production, coagulation and angiogenesis in the lungs of COVID-19 patients compared to non-infected controls.

      Learning Objectives:

      1. Understand the current knowledge on the dynamics of the immune response to COVID-19

      2. Learn what immune signatures are associated with a poor COVID-19 prognosis

      3. Understand the differences between transcriptional profiles of lungs from COVID-19 patients versus those infected with influenza and non-infected controls

      4. Learn how NanoString nCounter® technology and the GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler can be used to study COVID-19


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