The incidence of inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis has increased dramatically over the last 50 years. In a normal anti-inflammatory cytokines lead to a reintroduction of homeostasis once an infection is cleared.
Hence, such cytokines hold the promise to be effective to treat these immune diseases. However, efficient production of these labile cytokines is often not easy. Plants have shown to be good production hosts for a variety of proteins. In this project the student will express cytokines in plants, isolate these and test their biological activity in in vitro assays. The research will include gene cloning, transformation, expression studies, protein analysis, tissue culture and immunoassays.