Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland

I am an immunologist specialising in innate immunity. I work primarily with macrophages, which are key innate immune cells that are specialised for detecting infection and releasing inflammatory signals to the rest of the immune system.

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of QLD. My research career began when I did my honours year looking at macrophages and inflammation with Prof. Matt Sweet at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. I then moved to the University of Bonn in Germany to do my PhD research with Prof. Eicke Latz. In my PhD I continued to work on macrophages and how they are activated at a molecular level. I discovered that high density lipoprotein (aka the 'good cholesterol) is also protective because it can can turn off unnecessary macrophage inflammation.

I then moved to Cambridge, UK to do postdoctoral research at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. I worked with Dr Leo James looking at how macrophages detect viral infections. I found that antibodies (which are small molecules that produced during a normal infection or vaccination and are good at stopping the infection) can change how macrophages detect viruses. This is important for understanding how our innate immune system senses a virus during re-infection, and for understanding better how vaccines work (and how to make them better).

I returned to Australia in September 2019 to the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. Here I'm working with Prof. Kate Schroder, an expert in macrophage and inflammatory signaling, to understand more about macrophages detect viruses. I want to understand these pathways so that we can boost our immune responses to viruses without having dangerous inflammation.

Experience

  • –present
    Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland