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Tuesday April 09, 2024

Congratulations to Timothy McCulloch
2022 ASI Career Advancement Awardee - Postgraduate Category


We warmly congratulate
Timothy McCulloch
Recipient of a 2022 ASI Career Advancement Award - Postgraduate Category


My name is Timothy McCulloch, and I am honoured to have been awarded a postgraduate ASI Career Advancement Award in 2022.

I completed my PhD in 2023 under the supervision of Associate Professor Fernando Guimaraes at the Frazer Institute, University of Queensland. During this time my research focused on how the immune response is dysregulated during bacterial infection, leading to ineffective clearance of disease. This work is particularly important considering bacterial pathogens are rapidly acquiring resistance to antibiotics, leading to infections that are difficult or sometimes impossible to treat. Therefore, understanding how the immune system is perturbed during infection could allow us to develop host-directed immunotherapies aimed at enhancing anti-bacterial immune responses and overcoming resistance to antibiotics. As a part of this research, we uncovered multiple novel mechanisms of dysfunction occurring in both natural killer (NK) cells and T cells during infection. We found that these mechanisms were targetable by immunotherapy, which could reverse immune dysfunction and promote clearance of infection. We hope to share these exciting data with the community as publications soon.

This ASI Career Advancement award supported me to attend and present my work at NK2023, the premier meeting for NK cells, which was held in Oslo, Norway. This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to interact with world leaders in the NK cell field, including getting insightful and invaluable feedback on my own work. One notable highlight of the conference was the keynote lecture from Professor Lewis Lanier, who gave an inspiring overview of what he saw as the key advancements to NK cell research over the course of his career. As a part of this travel I had intended to visit multiple labs in Europe to identify postdoctoral opportunities. After receiving notification of the award, I reached out to Professor Christoph Wilhelm, a world leader in dietary immunology, to arrange a visit to his lab. I was interested in his lab because I am fascinated by the idea of using diet as a tool to help fight disease. Coincidently, Professor Wilhelm was advertising a postdoctoral position at the time, which I subsequently interviewed for and was awarded. So with thanks to the ASI Career Advancement award for giving me a reason to reach out to Professor Wilhelm, I am now a postdoctoral researcher in the Wilhelm lab at University Hospital Bonn, fulfilling my passion of researching how different diets and dietary interventions influences immunity.

Author: Timothy McCulloch

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ASI

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