Mucosal Immunology


Mucosal Immunology


Mucosal Immunology Committee


Mucosal Immunology – An overview

The mucosal surfaces of the body, such as the skin, respiratory tract and genitor-urinary tract have a higher risk of infection due to their interaction with the external environment. Mucosal immunology refers to those aspects of the immune system that protect the body from infection at these surfaces. The mucosal immune system is comprised of mechanical (mucus), chemical (secretory immunoglobulins and antimicrobial proteins) and cellular factors. While not independent of the systemic immune system, the mucosal immune system is autonomously regulated and has defence mechanisms specific to each mucosal compartment.

Mucosal immunology in health and disease

An important factor undertaken by the mucosal immune system is the ability to distinguish between innocuous antigens, such as dietary molecules and commensal bacteria, and infectious pathogens. Initiation of an immune response to innocuous antigens leads to a variety of diseases, in particular inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies and asthma. Dys-regulation of the immune response and a breakdown in mechanisms regulating homeostasis also underpin various other chronic diseases. Understanding the way the mucosal immune system functions is now the focus of mechanistic and clinical research world-wide. Furthermore, harnessing the power of the mucosal immune system is driving new approaches to vaccination.

History of Mucosal Immunology in Australia

Prof. Allan Cripps was one of the first researchers involved in the establishment of the SIG in Mucosal Immunology in 1992. A brief history of the SIG for Mucosal Immunology has been published in the ASI Newsletter in December 2010. 


Members of the Mucosal Immunology SIG keep in contact during the year through tele conference, help organise the mucosal immunology session at the ASI Annual Scientific Meeting, and hold a biennial Mucosal Immunology and Microbiome Symposium that alternates calendar years with the ICMI (International Congress of Mucosal Immunology), which is organised by the international Society for Mucosal Immunology (, with whom the Mucosal Immunology SIG maintains close ties.

ASI Mucosal Immunology Seminar Series

Mucosal Immunology Journal

Mucosal Immunology is the official publication of the Society of Mucosal Immunology (SMI). It aims to provide a forum for both basic and clinical scientists to discuss all aspects of immunity and inflammation involving mucosal tissues. In 2023 the Journal became Open Access and has an impact factor of 9.020 (2021 Journal Citation Report, Thomas Reuter’s, 2022). For more information visit

Graham Jackson Memorial Mucosal Immunology Prize 

Professor Graham Jackson is considered one of the pioneers in mucosal immunology in Australia. In his memory, the Mucosal Immunology SIG rewards the best poster or oral presentation by a research student or postdoctoral investigator in the area of Mucosal Immunology, presented at the ASI SIG Workshop or the ASI Mucosal Immunology Symposium. Postgraduate students and postdoctoral investigators (with up to 8 years research experience after award of PhD) who are ASI members are eligible to apply. The presentations are assessed on excellence and originality of scientific content in Mucosal Immunology and clarity of the presentation by a panel of peers, none of whom is a past or present supervisor of any applicant. The Graham Jackson Memorial Mucosal Immunology Prize is valued at $250 each and presented at the annual ASI meeting. The application procedure for these prizes will be advertised with the annual ASI meeting registration details. The Mucosal Immunology SIG maintains close ties with the international Society for Mucosal Immunology. For more information:

2023 Mucosal Immunology and Microbiome Symposium Award Winners

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