Melbourne Speakers

 

An ABC of Childhood Immunity - Allergy, Bugs, and Cancer

Professor Mimi Tang

Professor Tang is a Paediatric immunologist allergist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia; Group Leader of Allergy and Immune Disorders Research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; and a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne.  

She is an internationally recognized leader in the field of allergy and immunology and has received national and international awards in recognition of her achievements in allergy immunology research and clinical care, including the prestigious Victorian Public Healthcare Award (Category – Most Appropriate Care), the Pharmacia International Allergy Fellowship and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology President's Grant-in-Aid Award.

Professor Tang Professor Tang is a Board Director of the World Allergy Organisation. She sits on various expert committees of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, World Allergy Organisation and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

Professor Tang is committed to improving the lives of children with allergic and immune disorders through delivering evidence based clinical care and leading cutting edge research. Her research investigates the role of the intestinal microbiota in early life immune programming with the ultimate aim of identifying new approaches to treat or prevent allergic disease. Recently, she has developed a highly effective novel treatment for food allergy that induced remission of peanut allergy in 80% of those treated. The patented probiotic food immunotherapy technology has been licensed to Prota Therapeutics, an Australian biotech start up company spun out of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Prof Ben Marsland

Ben is a veski innovation fellow, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor in the Department of Immunology and Pathology, within the Central Clinical School at Monash University.

Originally from New Zealand, and completing his PhD in Immunology at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and Otago University, he spent 14 years in Switzerland split between his Post-doc and Junior Group Leader positions at the ETH Zürich and then establishing his own laboratory as an Assistant, then tenured Associate Professor at the University Hospital of Lausanne. During this period, he was awarded the European Respiratory Society award for research in COPD, the ETH Latsis prize for research on T helper cell biology and the Leenaard’s prize for work on early life immunology. He has published over 100 papers in journals including Nature, Science, Nature Medicine and Immunity, co-founded two biotech companies and successfully bridged basic research with clinical studies and industry. Since the start of 2018, Ben leads the Respiratory Immunology laboratory at Monash University, where the main focus of research revolves around the microbiome in the gut, lung and skin and how it can influence respiratory diseases.

Dr Misty Jenkins

Dr Misty Jenkins is a NHMRC RD Wright fellow and laboratory head in the Immunology Division at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, where she researches cellular immunology and cancer immunotherapy.  Misty studied her PhD in viral Immunology with Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty and Stephen Turner at The University of Melbourne, followed by postdoctoral positions in immunology and cell biology with Prof Gillian Griffiths at The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, followed by a postdoctoral position in cancer research with Prof Joe Trapani at The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. Dr Jenkins has a long-standing interest in CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, understanding and imaging the immune synapse, and chimeric antigen receptor immunotherapy. Dr Jenkins laboratory currently researches the use of CART cell immunotherapy for brain cancer. Dr Jenkins was awarded the L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship (2013), was Tall Poppy of the year (2015) and won the Westpac/Australian Financial Review Top100 Women of Influence award (2016). 

In addition to her research career, Dr Jenkins is experienced in governance and is a Board Director for Monash Health, Director, Deputy Chair of The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at ANU, ambassador for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and is Chair of the NHMRC Indigenous Project Grant Review Panels. As an Indigenous woman she is also very committed to mentoring Indigenous STEM researchers and clinicians. Recently recognized a CSIRO Career Achievement in STEM award, Misty continues to remain a visible advocate for medical research, gender equity and Indigenous Health and Education.

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