Public Defence: Meseret Habtamu Mekonnen

M.Sc. Meseret Habtamu Mekonnen at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis Intracellular Signaling and T cell-Antigen Presenting Cell Interactions in Human Tuberculosis for the degree of PhD.

Trial Lecture - time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Associate Professor Jyothi Rengarajan, Division of Infectious Diseases and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Second opponent: Director Andy Filby, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Newcastle University
  • Third member of the adjudication committee: Researcher Alf Håkon Lystad, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor emeritus Gunnar Aksel Bjune, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo

Principal supervisor

Professor Anne Spurkland, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo


Host defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), is complex and involves immune mechanisms of various functions. Most studies have focused on characterizing cell-mediated immunity. Development of new strategies to eradicate Mtb will require a comprehensive understanding of the entire landscape of host response against the pathogen. This thesis shows the intracellular localisation of signalling molecules, specifically the transcription factor NF-kB, that are responsible for orchestrating cellular function, can be measured directly in white blood cells isolated from clinical blood samples. Moreover, we have shown that antigen processing and presentation capacity of the interacting antigen presenting cells (APC) as assessed by the ability to form conjugates with responding T cells, can serve as a novel tool to measure the quality of host response in complex and chronic diseases such as TB. In parallel efforts, we have shown that a cytoplasmic signalling molecule, the Lck adapter T cell Specific Adaptor protein (TSAd), regulates T cell-APC conjugate formation as well as polarization of signalling molecules towards the interface between conjugates.

Additional information

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Published Jan. 8, 2019 2:00 PM - Last modified Jan. 9, 2019 10:06 AM