Cantrell, Doreen


1982 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Analysis of signal transduction pathways that control T lymphocyte metabolism, migration and differentiation

The laboratory explores how antigen receptors and cytokines control the development and immune activation of T lymphocytes; key cells in the adaptive immune system.  The strategy is to rigorously interrogate T cell biology at the fundamental level of biochemical signal transduction.  The integration of mouse molecular genetics, cell biology and microscopy is then used to define the contribution of a particular biochemical pathway to T cell activation.  This work has defined how thymocytes and T lymphocytes use networks of guanine nucleotide binding proteins and serine kinases to interpret information from antigens and cytokines to make appropriate responses that control T cell development and peripheral T cell function.  The laboratory has made considerable progress mapping serine/threonine kinase mediated signaling pathways in thymocytes and peripheral T cells and has identified essential regulators of T cell metabolism, cytotoxic T cell effector function and CD8 T cell migration/trafficking.

The future research program will adopt a multidisciplinary approach and combine biochemistry, cell biology and in vivo mouse immunology to explore the how protein phosphorylation controls T cell function.   A key focus is the regulation of the metabolism of normal and malignant lymphocytes.  One important component of the work is a discovery based program to use high resolution mass spectrometry to systematically define the phosphoproteome of naïve and effector CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte subpopulations. Phosphoproteomic analysis of cytotoxic T cells has already identified links between serine/threonine kinases and chromatin regulators; the future program will address how phosphorylation of these chromatin regulators controls CTL transcriptional programs and explore the role of key cytokines on the CD8 T cell phosphoproteome.  This work will generate a molecular understanding of how signal transduction pathways control T cell function.  In particular, the studies will provide new insights about pharmacological strategies that might manipulate immune responses to ensure effective vaccination and/or restrain the T cell pathology caused by effector T cells.

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Research Output

Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    24 Downloads (Pure)

    The active inner life of naive T cells

    Marchingo, J. M. & Cantrell, D. A., 6 Jul 2020, In : Nature Immunology. 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Antigen receptor control of methionine metabolism in T cells

    Sinclair, L. V., Howden, A., Brenes Murillo, A., Spinelli, L., Hukelmann, J., Macintyre, A. N., Liu, X., Thomson, S., Taylor, P., Rathmell, J. C., Locasale, J. W., Lamond, A. & Cantrell, D. A., 27 Mar 2019, In : eLife. 8, p. 1-29 29 p., e44210.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)
    107 Downloads (Pure)

    Move to metabolism

    Cantrell, D. A., 29 Mar 2019, In : Nature Reviews Immunology. 19, 1 p., 270.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  • Phenformin, but not metformin, delays development of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma via cell-autonomous AMPK activation

    Vara Ciruelos, D., Dandapani, M., Russell, F. M., Grzes, K., Atrih, A., Foretz, M., Viollet, B., Lamont, D. J., Cantrell, D. A. & Hardie, D. G., 16 Apr 2019, In : Cell Reports. 27, 3, p. 690-698.e4 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 11 Citations (Scopus)
    118 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Festival/Exhibition
    • 1 Public engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

    Inspiring Stories from Women in STEM Storytelling Night

    Heather Doran (Organiser), , Amy Cameron (Organiser), , Amy Rogers (Speaker), , Lucina Hackman (Speaker), , Zoe McElhinney (Speaker), , Caroline Hall (Speaker), , Laura Daly (Speaker), & Doreen Cantrell (Speaker)

    11 Mar 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

    Local inspirations for the Scientific Life

    Doreen Cantrell (Speaker)

    19 Mar 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition