Understanding T-Cell Function in Liver Infections

T cells are essential for clearing liver-infecting viruses such as hepatitis C virus (HCV), but they can also injure the liver and contribute to disease progression. The specific roles that functionally distinct T cells (e.g., CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and natural killer T cells) play in these processes are not well understood.

Eva Billerbeck, Ph.D., has received a five-year, $2.1 million National Institutes of Health grant to investigate the functional properties and possible interplay of several types of T cells during viral liver infection. Her team will study the activity of those T cells using a mouse model of an HCV-related virus that she developed during her postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University. The findings may lead to novel HCV vaccine strategies and new therapeutic options for treating liver disease.

Dr. Billerbeck is an assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. (1R01AI170725-01)