T cells

T cells are specialized lymphocytes that have vital roles in the immune system. Since their initial description in the 1960s, they have become a major focus of immunology research. In this Nature Milestone on T cells, we explore and celebrate pivotal studies that advanced our understanding of various aspects of T cell biology, including their functions in health and disease and potential for therapeutic application.

Illustration of colourful T-cells

This Milestone is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party. About this content.

Nature Portfolio is pleased to acknowledge financial support from Biolegend, Novartis, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Thyas in producing this Milestone. The sponsors retain sole responsibility for the following messages.


BioLegend creates world-class, cutting-edge antibodies and reagents across a diverse set of applications to highlight the role of T cells in your immunology research—from flow cytometry to immunoassays to multiomics.  Founded by scientists for scientists, we aren’t just making a difference, we are different. We’re accelerating research and discovery by providing high-quality, purpose-driven products at outstanding value. With over 28,000 trusted reagents, 80,000+ citations in peer-reviewed publications, and a dedicated team to create custom solutions for your lab, there’s nothing our expertise doesn’t cover. Discover the BioLegend difference to see how we can make an impact in your lab. Learn more at

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Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. We strive for cures through cell therapies in order to enable more patients to live cancer-free. Novartis was the first pharmaceutical company to significantly invest in pioneering CAR-T research and initiate global CAR-T trials and we continue to pioneer in cell therapy, leveraging our vast experience to develop next-generation CAR-T cell therapies. Find out more at

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At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart.

 We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference, including Immunology where our vision is to restore health for the millions of people living with immune disease. Our approach to achieving this aspirational vision is systematic and evidence driven. We start with deep insights into unmet medical needs. We then align distinct immune pathway insights against these unmet needs. Our goal is rebalancing the immune system to achieve long-term remission.

 Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter (@JanssenGlobal). To learn more about the ongoing scientific efforts to deliver transformational and accessible therapies and regimens to patients with autoimmune disease, visit

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At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer NewsLinkedInYouTube and like us on Facebook at

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Founded in 2015, Thyas is a Kyoto University spinoff committing to R&D for the clinical application of iPSC-derived immune cell differentiation methods established by Dr. Shin Kaneko at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University. Dr. Kaneko is the world’s first scientist to establish T cells from hiPSC and demonstrated in vitro and in vivo efficacy in 2013. CiRA is the institute where the world's most advanced iPSC researchers are developing cutting-edge iPSC-derived cell therapies; Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, the founding-director, won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for establishing hiPSC for the first time in the world.

Thyas is specialized in producing various immune cells from iPSC, i.e., NK cells, killer T cells, CD4-expressing lymphocytes and others. Combined with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) or T Cell Receptors (TCRs) of interest, this platform can generate therapeutic immune cells for many types of cancers. Thyas is participating in an investigator-initiated clinical trials of iPSC-derived NK cells led by Dr. Kaneko. And its first iPSC-derived T cell product is antigen-specific TCR-transduced T cells for treatment of a solid tumor.

Thyas’ goal is to become a leader in iPSC-derived cancer immune cell therapeutics, and turn cancers into curable diseases.

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