Ammar Sabir Cheema

Deciphering the activation states of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, their dynamical relationships and their molecular regulation

Team: Thien-Phong Vu Manh (CIML) - Marc Dalod (CIML) - Marco Pettini (CPT)

His background

November 2019 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2017 - 2019 | MSc in Bioinformatics - Quaid-i-Azam University (Islamabad, Pakistan)

2013 - 2017 | BSc in Bioinformatics - COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (Sahiwal, Pakistan)

About his PhD project

Functional heterogeneity exists within each cell type, such as the restriction of cytokine production to only a fraction of activated immune cells. The underlying mechanisms largely remain to be identified. Single cell transcriptomic and epigenetic profiling revealed intra-type heterogeneity in immune cells already at ground state. Its biological meaning remains puzzling. Here, we will study a striking example of this phenomenon: the control of type I interferon (IFN-I) production by mouse and human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). Indeed, pDC IFN-I production is tightly regulated in time and in space, including in our mouse model of viral infection. Interestingly, this regulation is altered in breast tumors. To understand the molecular regulation of IFN-I production by pDC, we will investigate their functional heterogeneity, by combining various high-throughput single cell measurements, their integrated bioinformatics analysis and mathematical modelling.