The immune system must be able to distinguish between self and non-self in order to both effectively fight infection, and prevent autoimmune diseases. The T cells of the vertebrate immune system learn to maintain this balance during their development in the thymus.
We study how the organisation of the thymus and the cells therein provide an effective education system for T cells. We are particularly interested how the interactions of the developing T cells and the thymic epithelial cells lead to tolerance induction and generation of diversity in the immune system.
The Meyer Lab seeks to answer these questions by combining genomics and mathematical modeling. We investigate the spatial and temporal organisation of promiscuous gene expression in the thymus and how antigen distribution in the thymus affects epithelial-T cell interaction and migration. To understand cellular integrity mechanisms in thymic epithelial cells, we conduct research on the spatio-temporal organisation of promiscuous gene expression on a per-cell level.