How does vitamin D change gene responses in immune cells?

Ms Hannah Vuong

The University of Melbourne

| Causes and Prevention | Genetics | Scholarship | 2016 | Investigator Led Research |


It is well documented that people with MS follow a distinctive geographical gradient, with a higher frequency of disease seen in areas with lower sun exposure, and is thought to be a protective factor against MS. It remains unclear, however, how vitamin D exerts these protective effects.

The aim of Ms Vuong’s vacation scholarship is to investigate the B immune cell, which is known to cause inflammation, in order to determine if vitamin D changes the levels of gene expression. Over the ten-week scholarship, this project will use B cells from people who do not have MS, and will test how exposure to different concentrations of vitamin D changes the levels of B cell genes known as STAMBPL1 and CCDC109A.

By understanding how vitamin D changes immune cells, this project aims to gain insight into how low vitamin D levels contribute to MS risk.

Updated: 1 March 2016

Updated: 02 January, 2016


  • Ms Hannah Vuong, The University of Melbourne, VIC


Grant Awarded

  • Vacation Scholarship

Total Funding

  • $7,000


  • 1 year over 2016

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How does vitamin D change gene responses in immune cells?