Prof. Anton van der Merwe University of Oxford, UK

2 Talks

After training in medicine and completing a PhD at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Professor van de Merwe came to Oxford in 1991 to work with Professors Alan Williams and Neil Barclay, who were studying T cell surface molecules. He focused on how the structure and ligand... read moreinteractions of the various T cell surface molecules that had been recently been identified, including the T cell receptor (TCR) and costimulatory receptors, were relevant to understanding T cell activation. In 1996, he proposed with Simon Davis that TCR triggering depends on its size-dependent segregation from inhibitory phosphatases with large extracellular domains.

Subsequent work in several laboratories has provided strong support for this kinetic-segregation model, and there is growing evidence that many other immunoreceptors use the same novel signalling mechanism. More recently we have shown that optimal signal integration between activatory and inhibitory immunoreceptors requires that their receptor/ligand complexes span similar distances. This work has important implications for, and already had a major impact on, new approaches in cancer immunotherapy.