Modeling the Effect of Gene Expression Variation on T cell Activation and Differentiation


  • VAIBHAV GURUNATHAN Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Intern
  • Saleet Jafri Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Mentor



Cells have different ion channels in the plasma membrane that are crucial for proper immune response. These ion channels open in response to specific signals to allow specific ions to pass through in the process of facilitated diffusion. This project explores the effect of ion channel expression variation on the T cell responses. A computational model allows for the development and analysis of the cells in a controlled environment. To complete this project, Fortran code was manipulated at different levels to understand activation levels. Then, L type levels were analyzed to understand how they impact the responses. With this, figures were generated to represent the decrease of calcium levels after a sudden increase. This represents the calcium levels after ion channels opening and closing. In order to develop the model, the parameters represented different pump rates and ion channel conductances needed to be created. Accurately modeling the cells increases understanding of T cell heterogeneity in the immune response. This research creates the potential to understand how T cells and differentiate based on the calcium levels, which is through to control naive T cell differentiation into other important mature T cell types.





College of Science: School of Systems Biology