Sanborn, Keri. “Investigations in Immunology”, Boston College, 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/581.
For ten weeks during the summer of 2005, I was a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow in an immunology laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. My research focused on the BLyS/APRIL system and the receptor TACI on the surface of B cells. Going into my summer research, I had very little experience in immunology. Throughout the process of writing this thesis, I have sought to improve upon my knowledge of immunology, building a cohesive story that begins with basic biology and ends with the results of the summer's experiments. The first part of this thesis covers topics in general immunology, and narrow down in focus to cover the function and development of lymphocytes and B cell maturation and activation. In the second part of the thesis, the background for my research is described in more detail, and topics such as autoimmunity and cancer, lipid rafts, cell polarization, the BLyS/APRIL system for B cell survival, and TACI are covered extensively. The final portion of this thesis discusses the experimental logic, a background on materials and methods, and the results of the experiments I conducted over the summer. By reading this thesis, anyone with a background in biology should become familiar with basic subjects in immunology, advanced concepts in the study of lymphocytes, the ligands BLyS and APRIL, and the receptor TACI in B cells.