Rossjohn Laboratory

Understanding immune function and dysfunction.

Dr. Jan Petersen
Research Fellow
Anti-microbial immunity

The immune system walks a fine line – it must be sensitive enough to recognise foreign pathogens like viruses and bacteria, but avoid attacking uninfected and healthy cells. We investigate how T cells recognise microbial peptide antigens presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, and aim to decipher the molecular mechanisms that ultimately define the ability of the adaptive immune system to distinguish between self and foreign. Therefore, understanding of the molecular basis of T cell recognition in the context of infection has far-reaching implications in the areas of transplantation, autoimmunity and cancer.

NK immunity

Our work is principally focused on events central to infection and immunity. Specifically we work on deducing the structural arrangement of Killer-Cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) and their ligands and detail the molecular mode of interaction generating their complexes. This has important implications in disease and transplant outcomes. We also investigate immune reactions to specific drugs. This work is intended to lead to the better design and screening of new therapeutics.

Research Projects

1. Structural and functional investigation of KIR receptors

2. What causes drug hypersensitivity?