Digital Public Defence: Demo Yemane Tesfaye

MSc Demo Yemane Tesfaye at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “cDC1 targeted vaccines for enhanced Th1 associated immune responses” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Amalie Huth Hovland, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Research Associate Elodie Segura, Institute Curie, France
  • Second opponent: Professor Silke Appel, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Michael Rory Daws, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Anne Spurkland, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Researcher Even Fossum, Oslo University Hospital


Dendritic cells (DCs) represent a specialized subset of antigen presenting cells (APCs) that play crucial role in orchestrating the overall immune response. A specific DCs subset called Conventional type 1 DCs (cDC1s) are of particular interest due to their greater ability to not only stimulate naïve T cells but also assist in the induction of antibody responses. In line with this, different approaches are being tried to deliver pathogen or cancer derived antigens to this cell population with the aim of improving vaccine outcome. However due to the presence of multiple receptors on the surfaces of these cells, investigations are still needed to harness desired vaccine outcome.

Using DNA vaccines that are designed to target antigen of interest to different receptors on the surface of murine cDC1s, subsequent immune outcomes were investigated and characterized. Initially 3 receptors that are almost exclusively expressed on cDC1s were targeted and the results show that different degree and type of T cell and B cell responses were induced to the same antigen. Specifically, targeting a receptor called Xcr1 showed a rapid induction of T and B cell responses by affecting the intracellular trafficking and presentation of vaccine antigen for T cells.

These findings demonstrate that vaccines that target cDC1s are not only promising in terms of enhancing vaccine efficiency but, depending on the receptor targeted, can also be used to drive the immune response in a direction best suited to fight a particular pathogen.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Jan. 7, 2021 8:42 AM - Last modified Jan. 22, 2021 10:46 AM