All Department 2019 projects

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Projects Title Research Node (Project Site) Department Project Description Number of Places Available (Masters) Number of Places Available (Honours) Primary Supervisor UoM Staff ID Number Primary Supervisor Title Primary Supervisor First Name Primary Supervisor Surname Primary Supervisor Email Co-Supervisor 1 Title Co-Supervisor 1 First Name Co-Supervisor 1 Surname Co-Supervisor 2 Title Co-Supervisor 2 First Name Co-Supervisor 2 Surname Co-Supervisor 3 Title Co-Supervisor 3 First Name Co-Supervisor 3 Surname Additional Supervisors (Please include the title and full name) Opportunity
A cell-based model of sporadic prion disease Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project, exogenous protein expression and RNA silencing paradigms will be used to alter the expression of various sulfotransferease enzymes in an established cell culture system. Associate Professor Vicki Lawson vlawson@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours
A gut feeling about new therapies for glioma treatment Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience In this project, we will use a novel line of transgenic mice to investigate gene expression patterns between glial cells in the brain and the gut using RNA-sequencing technology and bioinformatic analysis. 1 1 Doctor Marlene Hao hao.m@unimelb.edu.au Doctor Lincon Stamp Associate Professor Sebastian King n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
A novel link between metabolism and host defence: O-GlcNAc glycosylation Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology In this project we will characterise the function of OGlcNAc glycosylation in immune cells by identifying changes in patterns of glycosylation in different metabolic states and upon encounter of pathogens. 2 Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Age-dependent susceptibility of neurons to RNA virus infection Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to explore mechanisms underlaying the differences between immature and mature neurons in their ability to control RNA virus encephalitis. Dr Lukasz Kedzierski lukaszk@unimelb.edu.au Professor John Fazakerley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Analysing protein structures Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology By analysing the movements of proteins that undergo large conformational change upon association (> 2 Å RMSD), we aim to identify those structural features that provide the information to guide this motion and binding. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Antibodies preventing HTLV-1c infection Microbiology and Immunology This project will seek to produce monoclonal antibody NAbs against HTLV-1c Env trimers for development of a passive immunotherapy strategy to prevent HTLV transmission. We will also examine the potential of HTLV-1c Env trimers as a candidate preventive vaccine in mice vaccinated with them. 1 1 Professor Damian Purcell dfjp@unimelb.edu.au Samantha Grimley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Application of systems genomics to analysing the dynamics of Streptococcus pyogenes infection Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will examine the systems biology of Streptococcus pyogenes subjected to a major and important stress, transition from the ex vivo environment to blood. The research will use various aspects of molecular biology and especially bioinformatics to address the key research questions. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Are there additional MAIT cell antigens? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Our team identified the known natural mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell antigens, small molecule antigens which derive from microbial riboflavin biosynthesis. We seek to further understand how these antigens are produced and whether other antigens exist. Dr Sidonia Eckle seckle@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lars Kjer-Nielsen Dr Alexandra Corbett n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Blocking the development of secondary bacterial pneumonia Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We are looking for highly motivated students to determine why influenza infection causes Staphylococcus aureus to transition from the upper to the lower respiratory tract resulting in the development of bacterial pneumonia. Dr Linda Wakim linda.wakim@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Can drug-like mimetics of BDNF promote remyelination after injury? Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience This project aims to investigate whether we can develop methods to selectively and independently activate either TrkB or p75NTR, and use these to promote myelin repair in vivo. Dr Junhua Xiao xiaoj@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Can resident memory B cells in the lung protect against respiratory syncytial virus? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will assess if immunisation to establish antiviral memory B cells in the lung can combat RSV infection. It will involve: engineering novel influenza-based viral vectors to deliver RSV vaccine antigens, testing in animal models and characterising B cell immunity using a variety of advanced microscopy and flow cytometry-based techniques. Professor Stephen Kent skent@unimelb.edu.au Dr Adam Wheatley Dr Hyon-Xhi Tan n/a PhD; Masters by Research
CCVs: Clathrin-coated vesicles and Coxiella containing vacuoles Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will address whether this process also involves clathrin light chain and other key components of classical clathrin-mediated trafficking. Dr Hayley Newton hnewton@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Characterisation of antimicrobial resistance and virulence of novel staphylococcal lineages Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will determine the likelihood and mechanism of generation of resistance to co-trimoxazole (a commonly used antibiotic) and the virulence of this ST5 clone in relation to other Staphylococcus aureus clones. Associate Professor Steven Tong steven.tong@mh.org.au Professor Benjamin Howden n/a PhD; Honours
Characterisation of the changes of the endocytic and secretory pathway of dendritic cells upon activation Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The aim of this project is to characterize the conformational changes of the endocytic and secretory pathways taking place during dendritic cells activation, using a combination of advance imaging approaches, such as fluorescence microscopy, correlative light and electron microscopy, as well as high resolution Serial Blockface Scanning Electron Microscopy. 1 Associate Professor Isabelle Rouiller isabelle.rouiller@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Cow antibodies that give the finger to HIV transmission Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will further characterise monoclonal antibody bNAbs we have isolated from vaccinated cows, and define the genetic evolution of the immunoglobulin genes during the immune response needed to form an effective protective antibody. 1 1 Professor Damian Purcell dfjp@unimelb.edu.au Dr Behnaz Heydarchi n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Decoding the trafficking of immune receptors Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will investigate the role of ubiquitin in the tagging and trafficking of immunoreceptors. Specifically, it will investigate the MARCH family. Dr Justine Mintern jmintern@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Defining the association between virulence and fitness of seasonal influenza viruses Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We expect to detect a correlation between severity of illness and virus titre, fitness and/or specific infectivity achieved in human respiratory tract cells. Professor Kanta Subbarao kanta.subbarao@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
Defining the impact of recurrent adaptive mutations on staphylococcal antimicrobial resistance and pathogenesis Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project, techniques including whole genome sequencing, directed mutagenesis, Tn-seq, RNA-seq and high-throughput phenotypic screening will be used to unravel the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity in this important human pathogen. 2 2 Professor Ben Howden bhowden@unimelb.edu.au Professor Tim Stinear n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Dental morphology Anatomy and Neuroscience Dental morphology research in the lab addresses the question of the reliability of teeth for determining the evolutionary relationships among human ancestors. Dr Varsha Pilbrow vpilbrow@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Designing better drugs Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology We are exploring the chemical signatures of molecules that could be used to treat different cancers and microbial pathogens (including TB, malaria and the most dangerous hospital-acquired, antibiotic-resistant infections. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Designing new optogenetic tools for biomedical research Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology In this project, we seek to develop a new way to control the activity of streptavidin using light.  1 A/Prof Danny Hatters dhatters@unimelb.edu.au Dr Craig Morton n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Determining the role of diet and microbiota in the progression of lupus Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The role of the gut microbiome and the potential for diet-based therapies in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and their mechanisms of protection will be studied in this project, using SLE-prone mouse models, incorporating advanced methods of metabolomics and microbial metagenomics profiling. Professor Fabienne Mackay fabienne.mackay@unimelb.edu.au Dr William Figgett Dr Catherine Kennedy n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Development and application of soft culturing microenvironment for novel drug discovery Pharmacology and Therapeutics In this project, you will develop assays for drug action in 3- dimensional environments of defined physiological stiffness and compare the results to conventional 2D monolayer plastic culture environments. Professor Alastair Stewart astew@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of Novel antimalarial drugs Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology In this Project, we will study these two pathways in Plasmodium to elucidate their roles, determine how their activities intersect and study the action of test inhibitors. This work will provide the basis for the development of new drugs. Professor Leann Tilley ltilley@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Development of novel proteomic tools to explore Burkholderia pathogenesis Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Within this project, we aim to explore new state-of-the-art approaches to track and quantify proteomic changes at the intracellular host pathogen interface. Dr Nichollas Scott nichollas.scott@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of medically relevant prion diseases Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Projects are available that use mouse adapted human prion strains in cell-free, in vitro and in vivo assays using a range of techniques to investigate the effect of prion strain variation on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of prion disease. Associate Professor Vicki Lawson vlawson@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Discovery of malaria vaccine peptide targets Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will develop an innovative method to test the immunogenicity of these epitopes and to assess the protective capacity of specific liver-tissue-resident memory T cells against parasite infection in the mouse model. Promising epitopes will be included in our TRM-based malaria vaccines and the immunogenicity of ortholog antigens in human parasites will be tested Dr Daniel Fernandez-Ruiz danielfr@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Evolution of streptococcal pathovars Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The primary aim of this project is to apply various bioinformatics approaches within global genome databases to identify candidate genes that drive streptococcal invasive disease and other pathogenic processes. This will also inform vaccine approaches to combat streptococcal disease. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Steven Tong n/a PhD; Honours
Evolutionary Genetics of avian influenza A viruses in Australia Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The aim of this project is to disentangle avian influenza ecology and evolution in Australian wild birds. 1 Dr Michelle Wille michelle.wille@influenzacentre.org n/a Honours
Exploiting nanoparticles as vaccines Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology We will investigate how different nanoparticle formulations can be used to elicit immunity to infection and tumours. Dr Justine Mintern jmintern@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Finding clarity within a blizzard- guiding the solution of cryo-EM structures Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will use structural bioinformatics and machine learning to develop novel computational tools to aid cryo-EM and low resolution crystal structure solving, analysing protein residue environments, protein interaction interfaces, and protein functional sites. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Gamma delta T cells are important for malaria sporozoite vaccination Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Plasmodium parasites which cause malaria are extremely complex pathogens, with a life cycle involving multiple stages within the mosquito vector and the human host. We have recently shown that gamma delta T cells are crucial to the generation of immunity to liver stage infection as without this cell population present, CD4 and CD8 T cell responses are severely impaired and are dissecting the role that they play in this system using a combination of cellular assays including flow cytometry, histology and live intravital imaging. Dr Lynette Beattie lynette.beattie@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Genes underlying differentiation of enteric neuronal subtypes Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience This project aims to use RNA-sequencing to identify genes important for differentiation of several major enteric neuron subtypes. This is critical information for understanding intestinal function and future therapies. Dr Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Dr Marlene Hao n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Glucocorticoid responsiveness in the lung: impact of inflammation and infection Pharmacology and Therapeutics In this project there are a range of methodologies that you may use including culture of epithelial cell lines and primary epithelium (in air liquid interface culture) obtained from healthy normal and diseased (asthmatic or COPD) airway. In addition, human monocyte/macrophages will be isolated from asthmatics who respond well to steroids, those who respond poorly and from control subjects. Professor Alastair Stewart astew@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Harnessing the molecular clock to activate diverse strains of latent HIV Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project, we will determine if this activation potential by BMAL-1 is consistent across the many diverse strains and subtypes of HIV. This information will tell us as to whether modulating circadian rhythms can be a viable approach to eliminating latently infected cells in regions where the HIV burden is highest such as sub-Saharan Africa. 1 Professor Sharon Lewin Sharon.lewin@unimelb.edu.au Dr Michael Roche n/a Honours
How do dietary nutrients affect the ability of stem cells and stem cell-derived tumours to grow and divide? Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Anatomy and Neuroscience The effect of diet on stem cell proliferation and tumour growth is poorly characterised. Using a chemically defined diet together with metabolomic approaches, we are interested in identifying metabolic alterations associated with dedifferentiation, stem cell reactivation and cancer. Dr Louise Cheng lcheng1@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
How do neurons maintain their specialised status? Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Anatomy and Neuroscience The lab is interested in identifying novel transcription factors that regulate this process, and investigate whether these factors are involved in regeneration. Dr Louise Cheng lcheng1@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
How do tumours compete with other tissues for resources? Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Anatomy and Neuroscience During cancer cachexia, tumours secrete signals to break down muscle and fat to promote its own growth, we are interested in the organ-crosstalk, and the signalling events which lead to organ-competition. Dr Louise Cheng lcheng1@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
How do tumours impact normal tissue functions? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will examine the bi-directional interactions between tumour cells and stromal cells in the lymphoid organs, in order to define how cancer impacts tissue functions, and identify mechanisms to restrict tumour growth and improve disease outcomes. Associate Professor Scott Mueller smue@unimelb.edu.au Dr Yannick Alexandre n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
How does ageing effect antibody responses? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to further understand the effect of ageing upon antibody responses using non-human primate models. Dr Amy Chung awchung@unimelb.edu.au Dr Nichollas Scott Professor Stephen Kent n/a Masters by Research; Honours
How early life experience influences brain myelination and function late in life? Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience This project will involve the analysis as to whether and how altering brain activity influences the oligodendroglial cell dynamics and myelin integrity in the adolescent, adult or aging brains, in particular how early life experience influences brain myelination and function late in life. Dr Junhua Xiao xiaoj@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How infection and trauma cause dendritic cell paralysis and lethal immunosuppression Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The goal of this project is to characterise the mechanisms that cause DC paralysis and investigate therapies to prevent immunosuppression post-SIRS. 2 Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How is selective metal ion transport achieved at the host-pathogen interface? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Biological discrimination between metal ions remains poorly understood, yet essential to their function in the chemically complex environment of the host-pathogen interface. Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt christopher.mcdevitt@unimelb.edu.au Dr Alex Carey Hulyer n/a PhD; Honours
How to harness the immune system to cure cancer: adoptive cell immunotherapy Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will exploit a mouse model of lymphoma to improve outcomes of adoptive cell therapy. 2 Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identification and characterisation of novel malarial transmission-blocking antigens Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We propose to characterise the sexual stage Ab targets in Plasmodium falciparum, the cause of the most severe form of malaria, and to better understand the properties of Abs that confer transmission blocking immunity (TBI). Associate Professor Siddhartha Mahanty smahanty@unimelb.edu.au Professor Stephen Rogerson n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Identifying novel subsets of immune cells that control cytomegalovirus following transplantation Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We wish to investigate the role of immune cells in controlling cytomegalovirus (CMV) following transplantation. We anticipate our research can lead to improved diagnostic tests that provide a more accurate and comprehensive assessment of CMV immunity. Dr Lucy Sullivan lcsull@unimelb.edu.au Dr Michelle Yong Dr Sanda Stankovic n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Illuminating microbial “dark matter” for antibiotic discovery Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will investigate the potential for antimicrobial production through co-culturing and induction across a range of actinomycete bacteria, testing for their ability to inhibit hospital superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Students taking on this project will gain skills across the areas of genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry. 1 1 Dr Sacha Pidot sacha.pidot@unimelb.edu.au Professor Tim Stinear n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Immuno-paralysis following severe infections or trauma Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project we will use models of infection and trauma to characterise the mechanisms that cause dendritic cell paralysis and to develop therapies to prevent immunosuppression. Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Immunoregulatory functions of the MARCH family of ubiquitin ligases Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will employ biochemical techniques, microscopy, proteomics, and CRISPR-Cas9 technology to characterise the function of the MARCH family; identify novel MARCH substrates; and characterise the machinery involved in ubiquitination by MARCHs. Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Immunoregulatory functions of the MARCH family of ubiquitin ligases Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will employ biochemical techniques, microscopy, proteomics, and CRISPR-Cas9 technology to characterise the function of the MARCH family. 2 Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Improving the diagnostic outcomes of patients with mitochondrial disease Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project employs extensive quantitative proteomics tools, as well as mammalian cell culture of patient and gene-edited hESC cells, analysis of human tissue samples, bioinformatics and computational biology, and metabolic and enzymatic measurments. 1 Dr David Stroud david.stroud@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Infection induced changes to splenic macrophages Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We previously showed that as a result of infection with blood stage malaria parasites, we see a CD8 T cell-mediated loss of two of the populations of macrophages, associated with a breakdown in the splenic architecture. We are now investigating this further to understand the how CD8 T cells mediate this effect and determine if it has functional consequences for the development of immunity. Dr Lynette Beattie lynette.beattie@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Integrative infectious disease phylodynamics Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project has two broad aims; (i) to develop Bayesian hierarchical models to integrate different types of data, and (ii) to leverage these models for real-time genome surveillance where computational speed is essential. This project has a strong methodological component, but it will capitalise on public health genome data. An understanding of phylogenetics, Bayesian statistics, and programming skills in one scripting language (e.g. R or Python) is essential. Dr Sebastian Duchene sebastian.duchene@unimelb.edu.au Dr Mark Dvaies n/a PhD
Interrogating B cell immunity to influenza vaccines Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will utilise advanced microscopy and flow cytometry-based techniques to interrogate influenza-specific B cell responses (memory B cells, antibodies) to infection and immunisation in both relevant animal models of human influenza, and human clinical samples. Insights will be used to guide the design and testing of novel influenza vaccine concepts in animal models. Professor Stephen Kent skent@unimelb.edu.au Dr Adam Wheatley Dr Hyon-Xhi Tan Hyon-Xhi Tan n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Investigating mechanisms of protein trafficking to human mitochondria Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will encompass a variety of cell and molecular biology techniques, including cell culture, confocal microscopy, Blue-native PAGE electrophoresis, protein chemistry and proteomics. Dr Diana Stojanovski d.stojanovski@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating novel chromatin proteins of the malaria parasite P. falciparum as drug targets. Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Plasmodium falciparum has novel bromodomain proteins that are involved in creating chromatin structure and gene regulation. We will characterise these proteins as potential drug targets. Dr Michael Duffy mduffy@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lee Yeoh n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the effect of hepatitis B virus splice variants in liver cells and disease progression Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This Honours project will investigate how splice variants affect liver cells following infection of primary and transformed hepatocytes. 1 Professor Peter Revill peter.revill@mh.org.au Dr Margaret Littlejohn Dr Kai Yan Mak n/a Honours
Investigating the molecular basis of central myelination and repair Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience This project will involve the analysis of the myelin-forming oligodendrocytes and their capacity of myelin repair as well as functional recovery in cell-type specific mouse mutant in combination with animal models of demyelinating diseases. Dr Junhua Xiao xiaoj@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the role of functional antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Preliminary studies by our lab suggest that patients that can control Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) (latently infected) have improved functional antibody responses compared to symptomatic (active) Mtb patients. Therefore, we are interested in characterising the antibodies from patients with different clinical Mtb disease outcomes in order to further understand the importance of these potentially protective antibodies. Dr Amy Chung awchung@unimelb.edu.au Professor Stephen Kent n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Location, location, location – lodging virus specific T cells in the lung as an approach to protecting against influenza virus infection Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This research project will characterise the influenza virus fighting T cells in the lung and nasal tissue, identify factors important in their differentiation and longevity, and optimise approaches to lodge these highly protective T cells along the respiratory tract, with the intent to improve influenza vaccine design and efficacy. Dr Linda Wakim linda.wakim@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Malaria parasite-infected red blood cells: a renovator’s dream Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will study host cell remodeling and key virulence determinants in P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. knowlesi both in mature erythrocytes and reticulocytes. Professor Leann Tilley ltilley@unimelb.edu.au Dr Adam Blanch n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Manipulating immunity to fight infection and tumours Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Vaccination currently represents the most effective strategy for eliminating infectious disease. Dr Justine Mintern jmintern@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Manipulating MAIT cells for increased protection by vaccination and therapy Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In collaboration with microbiologists and clinicians we have set up a number of infection models in mice to evaluate the efficacy of Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell-based therapies. We also seek to understand MAIT cell fate after “boosting”, and the best methods to drive MAIT cell numbers and function towards better protection. Dr Alexandra Corbett corbetta@unimelb.edu.au Dr Zhenjun Chen Dr Sidonia Eckle n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Manipulating the endocannabinoid system to alter cardiovascular function in hypertension Pharmacology and Therapeutics This project will use techniques to assess cardiac and vascular function ex vivo in an experimental model of hypertension to investigate the effect of endogenous cannabinoids on nerve-mediated responses in the cardiovascular system. Dr Makhala Khammy mmkhammy@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Christine Wright n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Mapping elemental fluxes during host-pathogen interaction Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology During infection, the host modulates tissue concentrations of key metal ions (e.g. iron, copper and zinc) to either starve or poison invading bacteria. This project will investigate the temporal and spatial interplay between pathogenic bacteria and the flux of inorganic chemical components at the host-pathogen interface. Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt christopher.mcdevitt@unimelb.edu.au Professor Philip Doble n/a PhD; Honours
Mapping the proteome vulnerable to unfolding and aggregation under proteostasis stress Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project will use state of the art quantitative proteomics and neuron cell culture models.  The project will also employ CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technologies. 1 A/Prof Danny Hatters dhatters@unimelb.edu.au Prof Gavin Reid n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Metabolic activity underlying enteric neurons, glia and progenitors Anatomy and Neuroscience In this study, we will use different transgenic strains of mice and fluorescent activated cell sorting to isolate individual populations of enteric neurons, enteric glia and progenitor cells. We will then analyse the metabolic profile of each population and how they change during development. Dr Marlene Hao hao.m@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lincon Stamp n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Metal ion homeostasis in Klebsiella pneumoniae Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Our recent studies investigating the chemical biology of this bacterium have identified numerous uncharacterised pathways involved in the acquisition of essential metal ion nutrients, such as zinc and molybdenum, from the host. This project will provide the first descriptions of these pathways and how they contribute to the growth, virulence and antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt christopher.mcdevitt@unimelb.edu.au Dr Aimee Tan n/a PhD; Honours
Mitochondria and intracellular bacterial pathogens Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will use cutting edge biochemistry, microscopy, microbiology and eukaryotic cell biology to explore the impact of intracellular bacterial pathogens on mitochondrial function. Dr Hayley Newton hnewton@unimelb.edu.au Ms Diana Stojanovski n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Molecular basis for growth factor surveillance in natural killer cells Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The Barrow group are determining the functions of the different NKp44 isoforms and how they impact NK cell surveillance of cancers expressing PDGF-D. Dr Alexander David Barrow alexanderdav@unimelb.edu.au Professor Andrew Brooks n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Molecular basis for growth factor surveillance in plasmacytoid dendritic cells Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The Barrow group are interested in identifying how the GF and TLR signaling pathways intersect to enhance IFN-I secretion by pDCs to evoke effective anti-viral immunity. Dr Alexander David Barrow alexanderdav@unimelb.edu.au Dr Theo Mantamadiotis n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
MR1 – a molecular alarm system for bacterial infection Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will use a novel MR1-reporter mouse model to discover which cells are armed with MR1 during various disease settings, and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to understand how MR1 works in these cells. Dr Hamish McWilliam hamish.mcwilliam@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
MR1 – a molecular alarm system that detects pathogen metabolites Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will characterize the MR1 antigen presentation system using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, biochemistry techniques, confocal microscopy, immunological assays and multiple pathogen infection models. 2 Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Mummy Studies Anatomy and Neuroscience This project brings together the fields of topographic anatomy, biological anthropology, bioarchaeology, digital analysis and Egyptology. Dr Varsha Pilbrow vpilbrow@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Neural regulation of anti-cancer immunity Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will investigate sympathetic innervation of tumours and how neural signals impact immune responses in the tumour microenvironment, in order to design new therapies to treat cancer. Associate Professor Scott Mueller smue@unimelb.edu.au Dr Sapna Devi n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Neurodegeneration in the enteric nervous system Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project investigates the consequences of the loss of neuronal populations and neuroinflammation in the enteric nervous system from mouse models of neurodegeneration (prion disease, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and exploring diagnostic paradigms utilising tissues from the gastrointestinal tract. Associate Professor Vicki Lawson vlawson@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
New antibiotics from old bacteria Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will investigate the antibacterial activity of a diverse collection of 700 human pathogenic Actinobacteria held by our state microbiology reference laboratory, with the ultimate aim to identify new antimicrobials that can inhibit hospital superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. A combination of techniques will be used in this project, including genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry, to identify new antibiotics produced by this collection of bacteria. 1 1 Dr Sacha Pidot sacha.pidot@unimelb.edu.au Professor Tim Stinear n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Novel master-regulators of B-cell biology Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to understand more about the function and mechanism of novel proteins and determine how they control fundamental B-cell biology. Professor Fabienne Mackay fabienne.mackay@unimelb.edu.au Dr William Figgett Dr Catherine Kennedy n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Pathogenesis of HTLV-1 subtype-C infecting remote indigenous Australians Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project examines p12 and HBZ expression and function during HTLV-1c replication. The role of HTLV-1c provirus-accumulation and immune-dysfunction in diminished health outcomes for Indigenous central Australians will be explored using HTLV-1c integration-site mapping and T cell receptor clonotyping. 1 1 Professor Damian Purcell dfjp@unimelb.edu.au Dr Paula Ellenberg n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Pathogenesis of pneumococcal pneumonia Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The project aims will be to examine pneumococcal gene expression in samples collected from pneumonia patients at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and elucidate the role of several candidate genes in pneumococcal pneumonia. Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Jonathan Jacobson n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Personalising treatments for genetic diseases Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Our aim is to be able to, for each mutation/modification and for each gene/protein, scalably and effectively assess the overall consequences of the molecular effects and their potential phenotypic outcomes. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Population genomics of endemic Streptococcus pyogenes Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Through linking genomics with epidemiology, we aim to examine the evolutionary relationship between disease causing Streptococcus pyogenes clones within remote communities of Australia. Furthermore, we will apply statistical genetic models to identify genetic signatures associated with different disease stats and/or tissue tropism. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Steven Tong n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Potential of stem cell therapy to treat Hirschsprung’s disease Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience In this project, we are using a rat model of Hirschsprung Disease to investigate the clinical application of cell therapy for Hirschsprung patients. Dr Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Dr Marlene Hao n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Preventing infections of the highly puke-ogenic virus - norovirus Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project we aim to utilise a vaccine development platform to generate virus-like particle of norovirus and determine their effectiveness in priming and providing a protective immune response to infection. The project will involve the design and production of the virus-like particles to be used in vaccination regimes. Professor Jason Mackenzie jason.mackenzie@unimelb.edu.au Professor Joe Torressi n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Principles of Peripheral Nerve Myelination Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience In this project, we are interested in analysing the timing and extent of Schwann cell proliferation and migration, their mode of migration, how myelin responds to the lengthening peripheral nerve, and the generation and maintenance of myelin lipids. Dr Simon Murray ssmurray@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Programming gamma delta T cells for HIV immunotherapy Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will focus on identifying methods to expand gamma delta T cell populations that can kill HIV-infected T cells in vitro. Professor Stephen Kent skent@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jennifer Juno n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Protective capacity of malaria-specific liver-tissue-resident memory T cells Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will investigate which cell population in the liver re-activates malaria-specific tissue-resident memory T cells after challenge, and how the phenotype and behaviour of these cells changes after challenge. Dr Lauren Holz lauren.holz@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Protein trafficking and cellular architecture Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Electron tomography of the malaria parasite The malaria parasite spends part of its life-cycle inside the erythrocytes of its human host. Professor Leann Tilley ltilley@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Quantifying bacterial recombination within globally evolving streptococcal pathogens Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Over the past decade, we have compiled a large database (>2000 genomes) of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) genomes from around the world. By taking advantage of our unique genome databases, this project will use the latest population genomic tools and advanced Bayesian statistical (ABC) interference methods to quantify and model the role that recombination plays in maintaining GAS strain diversity within a global context. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au Dr Nic Geard n/a PhD; Honours
Rational Protein Engineering Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The ability to identify the effects of mutations is allowing us to optimise proteins for therapeutic and biotechnological purposes. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Regeneration of lymphoid tissues Microbiology and Immunology Using new transgenic mice, this project will examine how lymphoid tissues expand and respond to infection, and how destruction of the tissue environment is regenerated by stromal cells. Associate Professor Scot Mueller smue@unimelb.edu.au Dr Yannick Alexandre n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
RNA control of HIV latency Microbiology and Immunology This project studies these chimeric host-HIV mRNAs and investigates a folded RNA-element that underlies Tat coding RNA, its RNA-epigenetic modifications and the cellular protein binding partners that function to permit Tat-expression through a privileged IRES-translation pathway to regulate HIV-latency. 1 1 Professor Damian Purcell dfjp@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Role of O-linked glycosylation system across the Burkholderia genus Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The goal of this project is to understand the role, diversity and machinery responsible for glycosylation in Bukholderia species. Dr Nichollas Scott nichollas.scott@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Role of suppressor of cytokine signalling proteins in viral encephalitis Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The suppressor of cytokine signalling (SOCS) proteins are key negative regulators of the JAK-STAT pathway and are responsible for controlling cytokine networks involved in immune response and inflammation. This project aims to explore the role of SOCS4 or SOCS5 during SFV induced encephalitis in a mouse model. Dr Lukasz Kedzierski lukaszk@unimelb.edu.au Professor John Fazakerley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Sex in human malaria parasites Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology In this project we will use CRISPR gene editing to create transgenic malaria parasites, which we will study by combing proteomics, molecular and cellular biology techniques with super resolution microscopy to define the molecular players driving gametocyte development. 2 Dr Matthew Dixon matthew.dixon@unimelb.edu.au Professor Leann Tilley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Skeletal morphology Anatomy and Neuroscience Research on skeletal morphology focuses on change in the human skeleton in response to genetic drift, mutation, adaptation and interaction with the physical and biological environment. Dr Varsha Pilbrow vpilbrow@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Small molecules for BIG targets- Targeting protein-protein interactions with fragments Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Targeting protein-protein interactions with fragments Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
SNAP - Staphylococcus aureus Network Adaptive Platform Trial Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We are developing a novel adaptive platform trial to optimise management of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. Associate Professor Steven Tong steven.tong@mh.org.au Associate Professor Sheena Sullivan n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Solving the native structure of the malaria parasite using cryo-electron microscopy Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The proposed project will use cryoEM and molecular biology techniques to study the malaria proteasome to underpin efforts to find potent and specific inhibitors of the proteasome. The project will also solve the structure of mutant and wildtype Pf20S proteasome to understand the molecular basis of resistance. Professor Leann Tilley ltilley@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof. Eric Hanssen n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in Victorian hospitals: regional differences in disease burden and epidemiology Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The objective of this study is to evaluate the burden of SAB across the spectrum of Victorian healthcare facilities, including analysis according to hospital size. Associate Professor Leon Worth leon.worth@mh.org.au Associate Professor Noleen Bennet n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Streptococcal transmission and disease Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In this project, you will use a murine model of Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation to examine the effect of respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza) on Streptococcus pyogenes colonisation, including for transmission (spread to co-housed littermates) and disease, and the mechanisms involved. Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Jonathan Jacobson Professor Andrew Steer n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Structural Biology of Cancer Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The work undertaken by the Parker lab has provided major contributions to identification of targets for cancer therapy, and understanding the mechanisms of cancer growth and spread. Professor Michael Parker mwp@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Structural Biology of Infection Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Current work revolves around understanding how CDC toxins penetrate membranes. Professor Michael Parker mwp@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Structural Neurobiology Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Professor Michael Parker mwp@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Synergistic and antagonistic interplay between Streptococcus pneumoniae and respiratory viruses Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The contribution of bacterial-viral co-infections to the onset and severity of disease is increasingly attracting interest from researchers globally. Specifically, it is well established that co-infections of Streptococcus pneumoniae with respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza or respiratory syncytial virus) impact the severity of acute respiratory infections. Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Sam Manna n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Tackling drug resistance Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examining how genetic variation associated with resistance to therapeutic treatments manifests at the molecular level and how it affects organism fitness is vital to the development of new therapeutics. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Testing a novel strategy to target chronic lymphocytic leukemia Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to test whether targeting TACI in a model of CLL will be effective at restoring immunocompetency. Flow cytometry, ELISA, in vitro assays and others will be used throughout the project. Professor Fabienne Mackay fabienne.mackay@unimelb.edu.au Dr Simona Infantino n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The amyloidogenic protease inhibitor Cystatin C in health and disease Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Identification of these cells, and characterisation of the mechanisms that control the synthesis and dimerisation of Cst C will lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases associated with Cst C. 2 Prof. Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr. Justine Mintern n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
The importance of IgA in the protection and control of infectious diseases Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to further explore the mechanisms behind both the protective and immunomodulatory role of IgA in the control of HIV-1 and other infectious diseases. Dr Amy Chung awchung@unimelb.edu.au Professor Stephen Kent n/a PhD; Masters by Research
The role of co-pathologies in the clinical presentation of prion disease Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We will investigate the role of co-pathologies in prion disease by assessing the behavior (gait and memory), pathology (histology and western immunoblot analysis) and propagation of prions using our unique panel of mouse adapted human prion strains. Associate Professor Vicki Lawson vlawson@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of glucose metabolism in the regulation of immunity Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology We are characterising the function of O-GlcNAc glycosylation in immune cells by identifying changes in patterns of glycosylation in different metabolic states and upon encounter of pathogens. Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au Dr Nishma Gupta n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of mitochondria in Coxiella burnetii infection Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology . We are interested to characterise how these effector proteins are delivered to the mitochondrion and study how they interact with mitochondrial proteins to allow C. burnetii to replicate within a eukaryotic cell. Dr Diana Stojanovski d.stojanovski@unimelb.edu.au Dr Hayley Newton n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of the prion protein in brain cancer Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will involve breeding and selection (genotyping) of mice, induction of glioblastoma, monitoring of mice for signs of disease and analysis of tissue for evidence of disease. Associate Professor Vicki Lawson vlawson@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours
The space of evolutionary trees in infectious disease epidemiology Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project has three main aims; (i) estimating evolutionary parameters for a range of pathogens, such as HIV, influenza, and dengue, (ii) using these parameters to simulate evolutionary trees under different epidemiological models, and (ii) applying machine learning techniques to identify whether epidemiological processes lead to a predictable patterns of evolutionary trees. Dr Sebastian Duchene sebastian.duchene@unimelb.edu.au Dr Mark Davies n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Treating the person not the disease Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Our projects combine both computational (bioinformatics) and experimental (protein expression, biophysics, structural biology) approaches to unravel the molecular mechanisms driving these mutations and derive novel predictive methods. Dr David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding essential gene regulation in Staphylococcus aureus Microbiology and Immunology Our laboratory has been investigating the molecular mechanism of WalKR function through the application of next generation DNA sequencing technologies such as RNAseq, ChIPseq, TNseq targeted mutagenesis and suppressor mutant screens. This project will apply the above techniques to determine the molecular basis of WalKR essentiality. 1 1 Professor Tim Stinear tstinear@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ian Monk n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding how Anthrax toxins function Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of Anthrax, secretes three soluble proteins collectively known as “Anthrax Toxin”: the pore-forming “Protective Antigen” (PA); and two enzymes the Lethal Factor (LF) and the Edema Factor (EF). Associate Professor Isabelle Rouiller isabelle.rouiller@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Understanding how membrane-less organelles form with optogenetic tools Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The project will involve designing and cloning new constructs, testing their expression in mammalian cells and designing mutations into them. A/Prof Danny Hatters dhatters@unimelb.edu.au Dr Dezerae Cox n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding how the ATPase p97 functions at molecular level Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The AAA ATPase p97 is a ubiquitous, abundant and essential protein. 2 Associate Professor Isabelle Rouiller isabelle.rouiller@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding immune dysfunction in acute myeloid leukemia Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology In this project, we will examine molecular mechanisms that regulate flt3 receptor in healthy settings and in a model of AML. Dr Justine Mintern jmintern@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding interactions between gut epithelial stem cells and enteric neurons Medical Building Anatomy and Neuroscience This project aims to investigate the interaction between gut neurons and the epithelial stem cell compartment, as well as the relationship between age-related loss of enteric neurons and changes in gut epithelial stem cells. The role of epithelial stem cell-nerve communication, and the signalling pathways mediating it, are currently poorly understood. Dr Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Dr Marlene Hao n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Understanding the assembly of mitochondrial machines Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology This project features classical molecular techniques such as mammalian cell culture, Blue-Native (BN) PAGE, western blotting, affinity enrichment techniques such as co-immunoprecipitation and BioID, cellular imaging, computational and structural biology, and metabolic measurements such as oxygen consumption and ATP production. 2 Dr David Stroud david.stroud@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the biological chemistry of pneumococcal disease Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Building on our expertise in bacterial chemical biology, this project will investigate the pathways involved in Streptococcus pneumoniae metal ion homeostasis, elucidate their function, and reveal their roles in the host-pathogen interaction. Associate Professor Christopher McDevitt christopher.mcdevitt@unimelb.edu.au Dr Stephanie Neville n/a PhD; Honours
Understanding the immune microenvironment in brain tumours Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project aims to understand the types and distribution of immune cells in brain tumour tissue and how the tumour microenvironment, including immune cells, contribute to oncogenesis. Dr Theo Mantamadiotis theom@unimelb.edu.au Dr Stanley Stylli n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding the importance of variation in the capsular polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Over 90 immunologically-distinct serotypes are known, defined by their unique capsular polysaccharide. Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Dr Sam Manna n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding the mechanisms that impair anti-tumour adoptive cell therapy Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The aims of this project will be to identify genes that control the outcome of adoptive cell therapy, and characterise the interactions between T cells and the tumour. Professor Jose Villadangos j.villadangos@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding the Molecular Consequences of Mutations Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology We are continuously looking to expand and further develop our computational mutational analysis platform. Dr David Ascher David Ascher david.ascher@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the role of MAIT cells in immune-mediated pathology Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Based on in vitro stimulation assays with the relevant metabolites in healthy donors and patient samples, we seek to establish if mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells can mediate allergic reactions. Dr Sidonia Eckle seckle@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lars Kjer-Nielsen Dr Alexandra Corbett n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding the role of MAIT cells in protection from microbial infections Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology In collaboration with microbiologists and clinicians we have set up a number of infection models in mice relevant to human diseases. By comparing the pathogen burden in Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell deficient versus competent mice we determine in each model whether MAIT cells are protective. Dr Sidonia Eckle seckle@unimelb.edu.au Dr Zhenjun Chen Dr Alexandra Corbett n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Unravelling the drivers of scarlet fever pandemics Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Outbreaks of scarlet fever associated with multi-drug resistant Group A Streptococci (GAS) have occurred recently in both Asia and the United Kingdom, placing a serious strain on health systems. This project applies genomic epidemiology approaches to examine the emergence and transmission of GAS clones and associated mobile genetic elements within a global context. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Using genomics to investigate the transmission of skin pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in a ‘One Health’ setting Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology A significant knowledge gap exists as to the role of household animals in the maintenance and transmission of skin pathogens in remote Australian communities. This project aims to use bioinformatics approaches to investigate the transmission of skin pathogens between humans and animals in areas of high disease burden. Dr Mark Davies mark.davies1@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Steven Tong n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Using genomics to track transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This research will combine the expertise in the Williamson group in using genomics as a tool to track pathogens of public health importance with expertise in the Newton group in culturing intracellular bacterial pathogens to explore genomic stability and transmission of C. trachomatis. 1 Dr Hayley Newton hnewton@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Deborah Williamson n/a Honours
Using the immune system to kill tumours Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute Biochemistry and Molecular Biology We will examine expression of checkpoint proteins using a model of adoptive T cell immunotherapy for B cell lymphoma. In addition, we will undertake CRISPR/Cas9 genetic deletion to identify new molecules that are involved in the expression of PD1, PD-L1 and PD-L2 at the surface of immune cells and tumours. Dr Justine Mintern jmintern@unimelb.edu.au Professor Jose Villadangos n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Using transcriptional analyses to understand recognition of tumours by natural killer cells Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will combine molecular and cellular immunology and offers a number of relevant immunological techniques including cell culture, functional in vitro assays with primary human cells, flow cytometric analysis, cell sorting, RNA extraction, RNASeq library preparation along downstream analysis of transcriptome and further identification of candidate genes. Professor Andrew Brooks agbrooks@unimelb.edu.au Dr Sanda Stankovic Dr Philippa Saunders n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Validating human transgenic mouse models for lupus therapeutics development Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology The project will utilise FACS, ELISA, microscopy, and ex vivo culture of B cell activation, to assess experimental therapy in the humanised and conventional mouse models of lupus. Professor Fabienne Mackay fabienne.mackay@unimelb.edu.au Dr William Figgett n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Vertical transmission of Ross River virus in mosquito vectors Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Using recombinant alphaviruses expressing fluorescent proteins, this project will look at aspects of the immune response in mosquitoes and the possibility that Ross River virus is transmitted vertically down the generations. Tools and techniques being used will include recombinant viruses, microscopy, cell culture and insect work. Dr Julio Rodriguez-Andres julio.rodriguez@unimelb.edu.au Professor John Fazakerley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
What do antibodies need to do to protect a woman against pregnancy-malaria? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology This project will involve measuring complement binding antibodies towards placental malaria antigen using plate-based immunoassays in samples from pregnant women and/or individuals from Phase I vaccine trials, and analysing if they are protective or if they are generated. Dr Elizabeth Aitken elizabeth.aitken@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Whole body analysis of human tissue-resident memory T cells Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology Using our unique resource, this project will investigate the pathways that guide tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) differentiation and maintenance in diverse tissue sites, with the overall goal of developing therapies and vaccines that manipulate TRM. Dr Claire Gordon claire.gordon@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Laura Mackay n/a PhD
Why is the flavivirus RdRp in the nucleus? Doherty Institute Microbiology and Immunology So what is this protein doing in the nucleus of a flavivirus? Is it affecting the innate immune response, cell transcription, metabolism or some other modification of host/viral RNA or proteins? During this project you will hopefully figure this out. Professor Jason Mackenzie jason.mackenzie@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
“Clock-off time” for inflammation and remodelling in chronic inflammatory diseases: casein kinase inhibitors Pharmacology and Therapeutics In this project, you will characterise the anti-inflammatory potential of this drug class using human cells obtained from peripheral blood and/or from the airways. Methods will include immunoassay, real-time quantitative PCR, cell culture and high content screening using plate-based confocal microscopy (Operetta). Professor Alastair Stewart astew@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science