Insigneo mechanobiology seminar: The mechanics of B cell activation in the immune synapse

Insigneo mechanobiology seminar: The mechanics of B cell activation in the immune synapse  Dr Katelyn Spillane, King's College London  Monday 26 February, 11:00

Event details

Monday 26 February 2024
Alfred Denny Building, Alfred Denny Building, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN
Insigneo Members please check your calendar invitations for joining details.


Our Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Cell Engineering research theme are hosting Dr Katelyn Spillane from Kings College London who will be talking about 'The mechanics of B cell activation in the immune synapse' for our Insigneo Mechanobiology Seminar on Monday 26 February 2024.

Brief bio:

Dr Katelyn Spillane, King's College London


Adaptive immune responses begin with the activation of B cells, mediated by specific binding of their unique B cell receptors (BCRs) to antigens presented on the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Specific binding interactions between BCRs and surface-anchored antigens in B cell-APC contacts, called immune synapses, provide signals to the B cell that direct it to survive, proliferate, and generate antibodies to eliminate the antigen, or to die. This mechanism underpins the rapid evolution of high-affinity antibodies to combat the infection. Thus, the activation decisions that B cells make in the immune synapse impact the scope of the immune response. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts to understand how B cells detect and discriminate antigens, and how physical properties of the APC surface impact the sensitivity and specificity of this process. We do this using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy to directly observe B cell activation events in combination with DNA nanotechnology to control physical properties of the immune synapse, such as molecular spatial arrangements and mechanical tension. These experiments yield molecular insight into B cell reactions to antigens during an immune response.

The University of Sheffield and Insigneo logo

Contact us


Telephone: +44 114 222 0158

Events at the University

Browse upcoming public lectures, exhibitions, family events, concerts, shows and festivals across the University.