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Personal profile


Dr James (Jim) Harris is an Immunologist/Cell Biologist running independent research into inflammation, autophagy, endocytosis, macrophage and dendritic cell biology, autoimmunity and host-pathogen interactions. He is Head of Laboratory Research for the Rheumatology Group, run by Professor Eric Morand and is focused on innate immune responses and inflammation in autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus), systemic sclerosis (SSc, scleroderma) and arthritis. He is also investigating the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in inflammation and cell biology.

Dr Harris received a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Nottingham, UK and his PhD in Immunology (in fish) from the University of the West of England, UK. He has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Animal Health, UK (on cows), Oxford University, UK (on human cells), University of New Mexico, USA (on mouse cells and bacteria) and Trinity College Dublin (on all sorts). He was also Programme Manager for the Immunology Research Centre (IRC) in Ireland, a €10 million Science Foundation Ireland-funded cluster of immunology research groups. He moved to Australia and Monash in 2013.

He has publised >70 articles, with >11,000 citations (h index = 34). Jim currently serves as a Deputy Editor for Immunology & Cell Biology, an Academic Editor for PeerJ, A Review Editor for Frontiers in Immunology and as an Editorial Board Member for Arthritis Research & Therapy.


Research interests

Jim has an interest in innate immunity and more specifically the regulation of inflammation, particularly cytokine release by macrophages and dendritic cells. Recently, he has focused largely on the regulation of IL-1 family cytokines and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), demonstrating a specific role for MIF in the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome (Nat Commun 2018). Directly related to this, he also works on the roles of autophagy in immune cells, particularly myeloid cells. In this context, he has published studies on the role of cytokines in regulating autophagy (Immunity 2007) and on the regulation of cytokine release by autophagy (J Biol Chem 2011, J Immunol 2012, Autophagy 2016).

Along with his interest in thecellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of inflammation and immunity, the Rheumatology Group has a strong interest in translational and biomarker studies in diseases, including SLE, arthritis and scleroderma.

Community service

Scientists In Schools

Day of Immunology Organising committee (Melbourne) 2014


Monash teaching commitment

Department Convenor, MHTP, BMS3990 Research in Action

Education/Academic qualification

Immunology, PhD, University of the West of England

… → 2000

Zoology, BSc (Hons), University of Nottingham United Kingdom

… → 1995

Research area keywords

  • Arthritis
  • Autophagy
  • Dendritic Cell
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Lupus
  • Macrophage
  • tuberculosis
  • innate immunity
  • scleroderma
  • MIF
  • Inflammasomes
  • IL-1


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