The Huang group has a number of research interests with a focus on immunology and biological systems, including
- T cell recognition
- Immunosuppression of regulatory T cells
- Immune regulation of NK cells
- Single-cell systems immunology
Peptide-MHC Multimer Technology
Peptide-MHC multimer staining assay is a technology that has been widely used to detect, quantify and isolate T cells that are specific for a given antigen within a tissue or blood sample. These T cells are critically important in diagnosing, targeting and treating different infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Single Molecule Kinetics and Force Analyses
Single-cell micropipette adhesion assay measures in situ molecular interactions at the single-cell and single-molecule level, biomembrane force probe (BFP) is an advanced version of micropipette with a much higher spatiotemporal resolution of ~3nm and ~1 ms, and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation is a computer based simulation to reveal protein structural changes and dynamics at the single-atomic level. We use micropipette adhesion assay, BFP, and MD simulation to study single immune molecules in vitro and in silico.
Single-Molecule and Super-Resolution Microscopy
We apply single-molecule imaging technique to investigate the dynamics, interactions, and signaling of immune molecules on live cell surfaces. We also use super-resolution microscopy to map the nanostructures (~25 nm resolution) of cell surface molecules.
Immune cells are highly heterogeneous. We will use next generation sequencing technologies to examine individual immune cells in different physiological and pathological conditions, thereby providing a systemic understanding of the immune function of single cells in the context of its microenvironment.
Single-Cell Mass Cytometry
Single-cell mass cytometry is an advanced version of flow cytometry without the issues of spectral overlap. It uses heavy metal isotopes to label molecules of interst and then labeled cells are analyzed by high-throughput mass spectrometry. Single-cell mass cytometry can simultaneously measure >40 proteins of a single cell.