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Personal profile


Dr Lawlor received her PhD in Medical Biology in 2004 at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne. After being awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Overseas Biomedical Fellowship, she completed postdoctoral research at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, UK and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, most recently in the laboratory of Dr James Vince. During this time she established expertise in the molecular and cellular dissection of inflammatory signalling pathways, and the translation of these findings in vivo using models of autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases. In 2018, she was recruited to head the Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling group within the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at the Hudson Institute.

Research interests

The Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling group aims to identify new molecules that regulate cell death and inflammatory signalling.  We also seek to establish whether cell death signalling can be inhibited therapeutically to treat inflammatory disease, or triggered to promote antimicrobial responses.

Dr Lawlor and her team investigate the cross-talk between programmed cell death and inflammatory signalling pathways in disease. In particular, the laboratory studies how cell death induces activation of innate immune cell pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including the inflammasomes. Inflammasomes are now known to activate pro-inflammatory protein Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) to induce a lytic form of cell death, called pyroptosis. This activity is critical for clearance of microbial organisms by the immune system. However, excess IL-1β activity can exacerbate rare hereditary autoinflammatory syndromes and common diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

External positions

Honorary Fellow, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

Research area keywords

  • innate immunity
  • Inflammasomes
  • Cell death
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Signalling pathways
  • Infection and immunity
  • Autoimmune Diseases

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Research Output

Editorial: Immunomodulation of innate immune cells

Almeida, C. R., Bottazzi, B., De Nardo, D. & Lawlor, K. E., 11 Feb 2020, In : Frontiers in Immunology. 3 p., 101.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Mutations that prevent caspase cleavage of RIPK1 cause autoinflammatory disease

Lalaoui, N., Boyden, S. E., Oda, H., Wood, G. M., Stone, D. L., Chau, D., Liu, L., Stoffels, M., Kratina, T., Lawlor, K. E., Zaal, K. J. M., Hoffmann, P. M., Etemadi, N., Shield-Artin, K., Biben, C., Tsai, W. L., Blake, M. D., Kuehn, H. S., Yang, D., Anderton, H. & 34 others, Silke, N., Wachsmuth, L., Zheng, L., Moura, N. S., Beck, D. B., Gutierrez-Cruz, G., Ombrello, A. K., Pinto-Patarroyo, G. P., Kueh, A. J., Herold, M. J., Hall, C., Wang, H., Chae, J. J., Dmitrieva, N. I., McKenzie, M., Light, A., Barham, B. K., Jones, A., Romeo, T. M., Zhou, Q., Aksentijevich, I., Mullikin, J. C., Gross, A. J., Shum, A. K., Hawkins, E. D., Masters, S. L., Lenardo, M. J., Boehm, M., Rosenzweig, S. D., Pasparakis, M., Voss, A. K., Gadina, M., Kastner, D. L. & Silke, J., 2 Jan 2020, In : Nature. 577, 7788, p. 103-108 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Ptpn6 inhibits caspase-8- and Ripk3/Mlkl-dependent inflammation

Speir, M., Nowell, C. J., Chen, A. A., O’Donnell, J. A., Shamie, I. S., Lakin, P. R., D’Cruz, A. A., Braun, R. O., Babon, J. J., Lewis, R. S., Bliss-Moreau, M., Shlomovitz, I., Wang, S., Cengia, L. H., Stoica, A. I., Hakem, R., Kelliher, M. A., O’Reilly, L. A., Patsiouras, H., Lawlor, K. E. & 5 others, Weller, E., Lewis, N. E., Roberts, A. W., Gerlic, M. & Croker, B. A., 1 Jan 2020, In : Nature Immunology. 21, 1, p. 54-64 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

TBK1 and IKKε Act Redundantly to Mediate STING-Induced NF-κB Responses in Myeloid Cells

Balka, K. R., Louis, C., Saunders, T. L., Smith, A. M., Calleja, D. J., D'Silva, D. B., Moghaddas, F., Tailler, M., Lawlor, K. E., Zhan, Y., Burns, C. J., Wicks, I. P., Miner, J. J., Kile, B. T., Masters, S. L. & De Nardo, D., 7 Apr 2020, In : Cell Reports. 31, 1, 22 p., 107492.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Deleting Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-3 in chondrocytes reduces bone growth by disrupting mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling

Liu, X., D'Cruz, A. A., Hansen, J., Croker, B. A., Lawlor, K. E., Sims, N. A. & Wicks, I. P., Oct 2019, In : Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 27, 10, p. 1557-1563 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)