Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences (M.H.S.)

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Kristin Renkema

Academic Year



The development of the immune system in humans is highly complex and requires precise timing which is still debated today. Research has shown IL-10 and T-regulatory cells play a significant role in the proper development of the immune system from in utero continuing into months after birth. These components and various cytokines continue to be guiding factors supplemented by the mother via placenta and breastfeeding. The dysregulation of immune development can have detrimental effects on the infant and may lead to autoimmune disorders. In this paper, we aim to further understand the development of the immune system from fetal to early age and discuss factors that can negatively impact the processes.