Steady-state production of naïve T-cells depends upon T-cell development in the thymus. Multiple scenarios can influence thymus function, including ‘natural’ (pregnancy, ageing) and ‘pathological’ processes (infection, stress, -irradiation). While the thymus is very sensitive to these stimuli, it possesses effective endogenous regenerative properties that restore T-cell production. In the absence of such recovery, T-cell development and the incorporation of new naïve T-cells into the peripheral pool is slow. Thus, thymus regeneration represents an important process in restoring homeostasis in the immune system. Here, we identify eosinophils as new regulators of thymus regeneration, and present data on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which they influence thymus function.
Graham gained a BSc in Anatomical Studies from the University of Birmingham in 1990. He studied for a PhD in Immunology as a Wellcome Prize PhD student, supervised by Eric Jenkinson and John Owen. His PhD studies developed the reaggregate thymus organ culture system. Since then he has continued his career in Birmingham, firstly as a Wellcome Prize Fellow until 1994, and since then as member of academic staff. He was appointed to a Chair in T-Lymphocyte Biology in 1995, and then Professor of Experimental Immunology in 2016. Throughout his career he has been been interested in how thymic stromal cells guide the development and selection of self-tolerant T-cells in the thymus. Graham is currently a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group ‘Immune System In Health and Disease’, and a Scientific Advisory Board member for activities in The Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, and the KG Jebsen Centre for Autoimmune Disorders, in Norway.