Current ASI Council
Professor Stephen Turner is currently a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Department of Microbiology, Monash University. He was awarded his PhD in Viral Immunology from Monash University in 1997. He worked with Prof Janet Ruby at the University of Melbourne (1997-2002) studying poxvirus pathogenesis. He then joined the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Professor Peter Doherty (St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA) to work on influenza virus-specific T cell immunity. He returned to the University of Melbourne in 2002, was awarded an NHMRC RD Wright Fellowship in 2005 establishing his own research group. He was awarded a Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship in 2007, an ARC Future Fellowship in 2012, and is currently CIA on an NHMRC program grant that focuses on T cell immunity to influenza. His research interests utilize a combination of structural biology, genomics, systems biology, recombinant viral technology and cellular immunology to examine molecular factors that impact T cell responses to virus infection.
Professor Gabrielle Belz trained in veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Queensland and has made major contributions to the field of immunology for which she received a Doctor of Veterinary Science. Her prime research interests are in the areas of infectious disease, particularly in lung and gut diseases, where she works to unravel how protective innate and adaptive immune cells are wired to generate long-live protective memory. She has published over 240 peer-reviewed original papers in leading scientific journals and has received a number of awards including a NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Overseas Fellowship, HHMI International Fellowship, ARC Future fellowship, and the Gottschalk Medal (Australian Academy of Science). She is the Chair of Immunology, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and continues to be excited by the unexpected and new discoveries in immunology and how immune cells dynamically link physiological regulatory circuits in immune protection.
Dr Connie Jackaman is an Early-Mid Career Research Fellow based at Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Curtin University, Western Australia. She completed her PhD in tumour immunology, followed by postdoctoral training in muscle pathology and related diseases. She moved to CHIRI, Curtin University in 2012 and leads a team investigating myeloid cell function in the elderly. Her current research is focussed on examining the impact of dysregulated myeloid cell inflammation on age-related diseases/comorbidities, including cancer cachexia, musculoskeletal injury and dementia.
Dr Emma Grant is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow working at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia. Dr Grant completed her PhD in 2015 at the University of Melbourne, where she studied human CD8+ T cell responses towards influenza viruses. She was awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship at the end of her PhD in 2016, during which she completed a 2 year postdoctoral position at Cardiff University in Wales, UK, before returning to Monash University in early 2018. She currently undertakes her research within the Gras Laboratory under the supervision of A/Prof Stephanie Gras at La Trobe University. Her interests remain within anti-viral immunity and her research focuses on understanding key correlates of immune protection against different viral infections.
Dr Asolina Braun studied Biology and pursued a doctoral degree at Hannover Medical School in Germany with Reinhold Förster and Tim Worbs. Here she employed a novel micro-surgical procedure of intralymphatic injection together with multi-photon microscopy to study chemokine-driven migration of lymph-derived dendritic cells and T cells. She was awarded the Arnold Spiegel PhD prize and HIRSIB PhD prize for this work. A fellowship from the German Research Foundation enabled her to undertake post-doctoral studies with Francis Carbone and Thomas Gebhardt which focussed on how cytokines enable the retention and differentiation of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) in extra-lymphoid tissues, particularly skin. During this time Asolina has contributed to the field by defining survival factors and differentiation signals TRM and developed a strong interest in skin immunology. She continues to work on skin immune responses in collaboration with Janssen.
Dr Julia Ellyard is a Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. She completed a BSc (Honours) at University of Sydney in 2003, and a PhD with Professor Chris Parish at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University in 2008. She undertook postdoctoral training with Professor Michael Neuberger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, and in 2010, Dr Ellyard returned to JCSMR to work with Professor Carola Vinuesa on the development of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. In 2014, she received inaugural Judith Whitworth Fellowship to continue her research with Prof Vinuesa and as a team leader in the Centre for Personalised Immunology. Her research interests focus on understanding how genetic variants affect immune cell function to break tolerance and cause autoimmune diseases such as lupus. She is particularly interested in the role cytokine play in the development of autoimmunity and how they are regulated.
Dr Ellyard also has a strong commitment to Teaching and Learning, and training the next generation of medical researchers. She currently convenes two third year biology courses and is the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning for the College of Health and Medicine.
Dr Angelica Lau received her PhD from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney in 2018 and is currently pursuing a post-doc in the B Cell Biology Lab of Professor Robert Brink. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms that drive B cell selection during humoural responses and how B cell self-tolerance is regulated in autoimmune diseases. Angelica also has a strong passion for education and science communication and was recipient of the BD Science Communication Award in 2015. She endeavours to bring fresh and educational insights on Immunology research to the wider community.
A/ Prof Severine Navarro is a Children’s Hospital Foundation Fellow and Steering Committee member of the Woolworth Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research. She leads the Mucosal Immunology Group at QIMR Berghofer and her research focuses on host-microbiome interactions and the initiation/maintenance of regulatory responses in health and disease. Severine undertook her PhD at the Institut de Pharmacologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire (France) with Dr Valerie Julia where she developed novel strategies to induce and recruit non-allergen-specific Tregs in the airways to control allergic diseases. She then moved to James Cook University (Cairns Campus) where she worked on hookworm-derived therapeutics and identified specific proteins able to suppress allergic responses and colitis. Severine uses both animal systems and human tissues to further develop this work to the clinics.
Dr Damon Tumes' main research interests are lymphocyte differentiation and immunological memory in the context of chronic allergic inflammation. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Adelaide in 2009 followed by post-doctoral studies at Chiba University, Japan and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide. Damon is now a lab head at the University of South Australia and SA Pathology Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) in Adelaide and is a visiting associate professor at Chiba University.
Prof Scott Mueller is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and laboratory head in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Melbourne, at the Peter Doherty Institute. He completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne, performed postdoctoral training in the USA at Emory University and then at the National Institutes of Health. Scott’s research is focused on dissecting the fundamental cellular processes involved in immune responses in order to identify new targets for vaccine design and therapeutics.
Dr Rachael Zemek is a Forrest Prospect Fellow and Raine BrightSpark Fellow, currently working in the Sarcoma Translational Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute. She completed her PhD from the University of Western Australia in 2019, where her research focused on improving the response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. Rachael combines laboratory models with transcriptomics and computational analyses to study the immune response and identify drug targets. She is now extending her research to target childhood cancers such as sarcomas which are resistant to immune therapies.
Dr Ries Langley works in the Infection and Immunity Laboratory at the University of Auckland. His research interests involve understanding interactions between the human immune system and the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Ries believes that targeting its virulence factors is a promising strategy to combat this bacterium. Neutralizing these toxins and immune evasion molecules will allow the host defences to better deal with invading pathogens in a way that is less likely to drive resistance and less harmful to the essential microbiota.
Anne La Flamme
Immunology & Cell Biology Editor-in-Chief
Clinical & TranslationaI Immunology Editor-in-Chief
Equity Diversity Inclusion (EDI) Coordinator and Chair, EDI Committee
Diana Hansen completed her PhD studies at the University of Buenos Aires in the context of a collaborative program between the National Institute of Parasitology in Argentina and the National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. She turned to malaria research during her postdoctoral training at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia, where she established an internationally recognised program to investigate inflammatory responses responsible for the induction of severe malaria. Diana is now a Laboratory Head in the Division of Infectious Disease and Immune Defence at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. She is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine in The University of Melbourne. Diana’s main current research focuses on finding solutions to tackle two devastating mosquito-borne infectious diseases, malaria and dengue, which together account for 600 million clinical cases worldwide annually. In 2020, Diana also turned into COVID-19 research, setting up clinical studies in Australia and overseas. Her main interests include understanding mechanisms regulating pathogenesis and induction of immunity to these infectious diseases and she is pursuing those goals using pre-clinical infection models as well as applying systems immunology approaches to human studies in relevant endemic areas. Diana’s research is primarily funded by the Australian NHMRC, e-ASIA, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Academy of Science.
Deborah undertook her PhD at the Garvan in the laboratory of Prof Chris Goodnow investigating the cross-reactivity of B cell responses to self and foreign antigens in mouse models. More recently her research has also extended into understanding the cross-reactivity of natural antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2. In 2020 she was awarded an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship and a COVID-19 Catalytic Grant allowing her to continue her research.
A/Prof Joanne Reed is a Principal Research Fellow and Lab head at Westmead Institute with a longstanding interest in autoimmune disease. She completed her PhD at Flinders University and received a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship for postdoctoral training at New York University. She then worked at Australian National University and Garvan Institute. Joanne moved to Westmead Institute in 2021 where she leads a team investigating the origins and pathogenesis of autoimmune and amyloid diseases. Her current research uses single cell genomics and recombinant antibody technology to improve prediction and treatment of autoimmune and amyloid diseases.
Visiting Speaker Program Coordinator
Dr Martin Davey is an ARC DECRA Fellow and head of the Immune Surveillance Laboratory within the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute. He has have received world- class training in human immunology, microbiology and molecular biology through a PhD from Cardiff University, UK and post-doctoral training in the labs of Prof. Benjamin Willcox, University of Birmingham, UK and ARC Laureate Fellow Prof. Jamie Rossjohn, Monash University. He is recognised internationally as an expert in human γδ T cell immunobiology in health and disease. His group seeks to improve our understanding of γδ T cell biology and the role of the unique γδ T cell receptor by using cutting-edge immune repertoire sequencing and single cell transcriptomics. The major focus of his group’s current research program is the response of γδ T cells to Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infections and their role in tissue immune surveillance. His group’s work is currently supported by funding from the ARC, US Department of Defense and the Rebecca L. Cooper Foundation.
A/Prof Antje Blumenthal’s research focuses on innate immune sensors, regulators of inflammation, and discovery of new therapeutic opportunities for challenging infectious diseases, with a specific emphasis on tuberculosis and sepsis. A microbiology graduate from Kiel University (Germany), she pursued her PhD research in Immunology at the Leibniz Research Center for Medicine and Biosciences (Germany). After postdoctoral work at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (USA), she now heads the Infection and Inflammation Group at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute. Associate Professor Blumenthal holds editorial responsibilities at the Journal of Immunology, Infection and Immunity, and Frontiers in Immunology. Other contributions to the scientific community include roles as co-Chair for the 2017 ASI Annual Scientific Meeting, Chair of the UQ Animal Ethcs Committee, and Chair of the UQ Diamantina Institute Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Day of Immunology Coordinator
Special Interest Groups Coordinator
I completed my doctoral degree as part of the International PhD Program at Institute Pasteur (Paris, France) in 2012. During my PhD, I laid strong foundations for my academic career and became a key researcher in the field of NK cell response to systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis in animal models and intensive care unit (ICU) patients. In 2013, I joined QIMR as a postdoctoral fellow, and in 2016 I moved to the Immunotherapy Laboratory at WEHI to extend my knowledge in the areas of cancer immunoediting and immunotherapy under Prof. Nick Huntington mentorship. I started to gain independence by attracting peer-reviewed funding: an NHMRC ECF Peter Doherty Fellowship, an NHMRC New Investigator Project Grant, a National Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship, three Cure Cancer Australia (CCA) PdCCRS Project Grants, and a Weekend to End Women's Cancer Grant as sole chief investigator. From my postdoctoral training, I have an extensive track record of publications in top tier journals including Blood, Cell Death Dis, JEM, PNAS, Nat Comms and Nat Immunol, and was awarded the 2019 Researcher of the Year by CCA and a 2020 QLD Young Tall Poppy Science Award. My work in the identification of new regulators of optimal in vivo NK cell function has earned me peer recognition as an emerging leader in this field. My current projects at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute aim to identify and translate the role of NK cells and develop novel immunotherapy approaches for different diseases.
Social Media Coordinator
Dr Tyani Chan is the current General Manager of ASI. She was formerly the Group Leader of the 'Autoantibodies' Group in the Immunology Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Under the guidance of Prof. Robert Brink, Tyani earnt her PhD which focussed on autoimmunity and allergic diseases.