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Chris Hope

I graduated from Flinders University in 2009 with an Honours Degree in Biotechnology. My honours project was an investigation of the DNA methylation status of adipogenic gene promoters during adipogensis of mesenchymal stem cells. This allowed me to start building my mammalian cell culture and molecular biology techniques including PCR and Methylation Specific – High Resolution Melt analysis. When interfering with the adipogenic pathway with immunosuppressive drugs, I started to learn more about the depths of the immune system. It was this new found curiosity, fascination and admiration for the complexity of the immune system that I started my PhD in 2010, investigating the complications post renal transplantation, primarily cancer. This research has enabled me to travel to Berlin for a conference presentation as well as perform a 3 month research placement in Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. I am now in my third year and currently writing a manuscript on the immune phenotype of kidney transplant recipients and the associations it has with cancer. Concurrently, my research is focused on immune function, specifically, measuring the function of regulatory T cells via CFSE titration and CD154 expression assays, as well as the function of Natural Killer cells (NK cells) via LDH release and Target Induced NK cell Loss (TINKL). The final aspect of my research is to measure overall patient allo-response via Luminex to measure donor specific antibodies and Interferon-γ ELISPOT for T cell responses.