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Monday November 10, 2014

On behalf of the ASI executive team and council members, I would like to congratulate and welcome the incoming ASI council members and extend many thanks to members who took the time to vote for the positions of Deputy Treasurer and Coordinator of the VSP. It is therefore with great pleasure we introduce...

Joanna Roberts
Newsletter Editor
Mainthan Palendira
NSW Branch Rep
Kim Jacobson
Deputy Treasurer
Joanna Kirman
VSP Coordinator

ASI Newsletter Editor

Joanna Roberts has a keen interest in flow cytometry which began during her work in the mid nineteen nineties at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington while establishing a mouse model of influenza infection to characterise T and B cell immune responses with Prof Graham Le Gros. Working as a Research Officer with Prof Franca Ronchese following this, lead to further projects using flow cytometry, followed by the opportunity to set up the Malaghan Institute Flow Cytometry Suite with the purchase of the first digital cell sorter for immunology in NZ. Following several years as Staff Scientist responsible for Flow Cytometry at the Malaghan, Joanna was appointed Head of the Flow Cytometry Platform at the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland. The platform developed substantially under Joanna during this time with the purchase of multiply analysers and sorters for projects involving environmental samples, neurological research, haematopoietic stem cell studies along with fundamental immunology. Returning to NZ in 2009, Joanna has worked for the crown research institute AgResearch on flow cytometry and immunology related projects as well as setting up flowjoanna , an independent company providing consulting and contract work in a broad range of flow cytometry-focused areas. Teaching and supporting good flow cytometry skills is a key feature of flowjoanna.

ASI NSW Branch Rep

Dr Palendira is a human viral immunologist with a research focus on human herpes virus infections. He has been a member of ASI since 1999. He completed his B Med Sci (Hons) and PhD in the laboratory of Prof Warwick Britton at the Centenary Institute in 2004. Following a very productive PhD, he was awarded a CJ Martin fellowship to undertake post-doctoral training in the UK. There he worked in the laboratories of both Prof Paul Moss and Prof Alan Rickinson on projects focussed on exploring the characteristics of CMV and EBV-specific CD8+ T cells in humans. On return to Australia he joined A/Prof Stuart Tangye’s laboratory at the Garvan Institute. For the past 7 years his work has focussed on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of EBV infection in primary immunodeficiencies. Early this year, he moved back to Centenary Institute to become the head of Human Cancer and Viral Immunology group.

ASI Deputy Treasurer

Dr Kim Good-Jacobson has been an ASI member since 2003 and is a Senior Research Officer at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, investigating novel mechanisms fundamental to the formation and persistence of immunity. Specifically, her work investigates chromatin and transcriptional modifications required for the generation of high-quality memory B cells and long-lived antibody-secreting cells. Prior to this she completed her PhD in 2007 in the laboratory of Associate Professor Stuart Tangye at the Centenary and Garvan Institutes, investigating the genes required for rapid reactivation of human memory B cells. She then undertook postdoctoral training at Yale University as a CJ Martin Fellow with Professor Mark Shlomchik, studying the inhibitory receptor PD-1. She returned to the WEHI to work with Professor David Tarlinton at the end of 2010. Kim is a strong advocate for gender equity in science through both institute policy development and community engagement. Kim has previously written for The Conversation online newspaper and is passionate about engaging the wider community in science. Kim has previously served as treasurer for the Centenary Institute student association and is looking forward to serving as ASI treasurer and contributing to ASI.

ASI VSP Coordinator

Dr Joanna Kirman is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Otago, NZ. Jo's research is focused on understanding the generation and maintenance of Th1 memory in order to improve vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Additionally, Jo's lab are interested in how to prevent paediatric infectious diseases including human respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus. Jo believes that a vibrant VSP is the single most important way that the ASI can support its members. Joanna will be encouraging more mid-career speakers, more female immunologists, and more visitors to SA, WA, NT and NZ. She is passionate about driving the VSP, and will work hard to encourage its regular use. Joanna has previously been co-ordinator of the Visiting Speaker Seminar Series at the Malaghan Institute for Medical Research for ~8 years, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for ASI 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting and five-times Chair of the Organisation Committee of the annual NZ ASI Branch meeting.

Sincerly, Dale Godfrey ASI President

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