Public Defence: Tahira Riaz

MSc Tahira Riaz at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Proteomic approaches to study CD4+ T cells and meningococci: New insight into life science and infection biology” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Associate Professor Sara Lind, Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Second opponent: Professor Frode Berven, The Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Knut Lundin, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Marit Inngjerdingen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Tone Tønjum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


The Thesis aims to delineate the comprehensive proteome of selected mucosal components by use of high-throughput mass spectrometry analysis. Proteomic analysis is the study of the proteins, the ultimate functional building blocks in a biological system, and is widely performed by mass spectrometry. In the life sciences and infection biology, mucosal immunology plays an essential role. The mucosa being under constant exposure to commensals and pathogens is a key location for immune responses. Dysregulated immune responses at the mucosal surface may also lead to immune mediated disease such as e.g. Crohn’s disease.

Here, we have mainly addressed the cellular composites of Th cells by comparison of two gut-derived Th cell phenotypes from Crohn’s disease patients. And we explored the relationship between the transcriptome and proteome upon activation of gut-derived cytotoxic Th cells. We also characterized the comprehensive proteome of an oropharyngeal mucosal opportunist, the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (Nm). In Nm, we aimed to define the proteins associated with the transformation protein DprA and the repair/recombination helicase RecG by comparative analysis of Nm DprA and RecG wildtype cells and deletion mutants.

Thereby, we addressed how homogenous cell samples can provide new discoveries on cell-to-cell variations and deeper insight into the complexity of cellular biology. The homogenous Th cells analysis unveiled the crucial findings of a novel phenotype of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells. Nm proved to be a highly relevant model for investigating genome dynamics and DNA-related proteins and a good source for detecting protein-protein interactions. Collectively, these findings provided new insight into life science and infection biology, focused on the gut and oral mucosal surfaces. Furthermore, the results presented in the Thesis demonstrates the powerful role of large-scale proteome analysis in assessing the complexity of selected components of the mucosal biology.

Additional information

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Published June 5, 2019 11:11 AM - Last modified June 13, 2019 9:38 AM