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Master's Research Project: AhR in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in various parts of the body. Our understanding of SLE’s causative mechanisms are poor and current treatments are sparse. Recently, researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s McGaha Lab, in partnership with scientists around the world, have uncovered the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as a critical link within the process of maintaining self-tolerance (the immune system’s ability to recognize self). While this is an exciting discovery with promising therapeutic potential, they need a way to communicate their complex findings in an understandable and accurate manner to various audiences, including potential graduate students.

My master's research project at the Biomedical Communications program aims to highlight the forefront of SLE research by elucidating the role of AhR in immune self-tolerance and SLE development. By fully utilizing the medium of animation, this project’s ultimate goal is to fuel interest, increased attention, and hope in SLE research.

Affiliations: University of Toronto Department of Immunology

Faculty Supervisors: Nick Woolridge and Michael Corrin

Content Supervisor: Tracy McGaha

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