Anne Fletcher


  • 15 Innovation Walk

    3800 Clayton



Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Anne Fletcher heads the Stromal Immunology Laboratory together with Dr. Konstantin Knoblich. Their group focuses on the immunological specialisation of human and mouse structural fibroblasts found in lymphoid organs and disease states.

Anne completed her PhD in Immunology at Monash University, working on the link between thymic stromal cells and autoimmune disease with Prof. Richard Boyd. She then undertook postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston USA, with Associate Prof. Shannon Turley, exploring the tolerance-inducing and immunological specializations of Lymph Node Stromal Cells. She was recruited to the University of Birmingham, UK in 2014 to start a human stromal immunology research group, and in 2017 the Stromal Immunology group relocated to the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Dr. Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Research interests

The word “stroma” is Greek for mattress, and "stromal cells" were originally understood as cells in organs that provided structural support and not much else. In recent years our understanding of stromal cells, and the immunologically-specialised roles these cells play has simply exploded, and they are now one of Immunology’s most far-reaching and fascinating areas of study.

Our research program is focused on fibroblast-like stromal cells found in secondary lymphoid organs and tumours. These cells create the structure on which leukocytes crawl and interact. We and others have shown that fibroblasts in lymph nodes are fundamental to healthy immune function, through interactions with T cells, B cells, dendritic cells and macrophages, directly supporting cell survival, function and migration.  

The laboratory studies key mechanisms of action, aiming to target these cells directly with therapeutic effect. We are also now focusing on exploring how these cells manipulate the immune response against cancer, a topic at the forefront of cancer immunology.

The research program utilises primary human tissues as well as mouse models, cutting-edge flow cytometry, cell culture, immunofluorescence, RNA-Seq and live cell imaging. 

Research area keywords

  • Immunology
  • Fibroblasts
  • Stromal Cells
  • stromal niche
  • Lymph nodes
  • Tumour Microenvironment


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