Personal profile


Our laboratory studies how the immune system decides to attack invading microbes or cancer, but not to attack our own organs. Defects in this decision-making process can cause immunodeficiency, cancer, or autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or type 1 diabetes.

The programmed destruction of immune cells is an important part of this decision-making process. By understanding the 'choreography' of immune cell death, we seek to understand how these processes work in health and disease. We will use these insights to design better treatments for immune disorders and cancer.

Research interest

Our lab seeks to understand how the body protects itself from cancer and autoimmune disease. Many mechanisms have evolved to ensure that the immune system does not attack our own tissues; this is referred to as immunological tolerance. Understanding how to modify tolerance mechanisms will open up new therapeutic avenues for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Our work currently focuses on understanding how defects in cell death and immune homeostasis engender disease. We employ novel pre-clinical models, mass cytometry (CyTOF), lightsheet and in vivo multiphoton imaging approaches to address how these processes shape the development and function of T cells in health and disease.

Harnessing new technologies

One particular project we are working on aims to find new therapies for treating chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) using mass cytometry to explore the inner workings of individual cancer cells. This new technology, combined with access to patient samples, gives us an opportunity to understand how cancers become resistant to treatment and presents an exciting opportunity to make a difference to those affected by CLL, the most common blood cancer in Australia.

The project has received almost $300,000 in funding from the Cancer Council Victoria’s Grants-in-Aid program.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research area keywords

  • Immune cell death
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or