Johannes Textor, theme Cancer development and immune defense, has been awarded a program grant of 1 million US dollars by the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) together with his team members Judith Mandl (McGill University, Montreal, Canada) and Daniel Parisi (Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, Argentina).
The T cells of the adaptive immune system are constantly on the move, can enter most tissues, and operate in large crowds. Millions of densely packed T cells roam the lymphatic organs in search of foreign antigen while activated T cells divide vigorously and flock to tissues where they mount local immune responses to pathogens or cancer cells.
The HFSP project combines expertise in immunology, computational biology, and pedestrian dynamics to shed light how T cell crowds remain motile with such remarkable efficiency in many conditions and what it would take to disrupt their smooth flow.
HFSP grants are highly competitive awards intended for basic research at the frontier of human knowledge. They are open to applicants from all nations. From more than 700 proposals that were submitted by scientists from more than 50 different countries, only the top 4% were funded, and Johannes Textor's proposal was ranked third overall. He was the only scientist from a Dutch institution to be selected.