Stem cell transplantation: double role for T cells

Thesis defense Sulima Geerman

On 17 April 2019 (13:00 hrs)  Sulima Geerman will defend her PhD thesis 'Localization, phenotype and function of CD8+ T cells in the bone marrow' at the University of Amsterdam.

T cells act as a double-edged sword upon allogeneic hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) transplantation, as they are the cause of graft-versus-host disease, but provide anti-tumor activity and support engraftment of HSPCs. Sulima Geerman's thesis offers insight into the composition of bone marrow (BM) found in the numerous bones throughout the body. Differences in the bone structure (ratio of cortical and trabecular bone) have been shown to influence the function of the BM.

Sulima investigated if BM effector memory CD8+ T cells, which express CD69, are genuine tissue-resident memory T cells. Moreover, she studied whether these cells have a hematopoietic supporting role in the BM. This question is based on the fact that memory CD8+ T cells, especially those with a memory phenotype, contribute to HSPC engraftment. She further explored the enhancement of protective immune responses by increased co-stimulatory signals, and speculates on how these cells can contribute to the HSPC transplantation field. 

Promotor: Prof RAW van Lier MD PhD
Copromotor: MA Nolte PhD
Venue: Aula University of Amsterdam