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Personal profile


Biography: Dr. O'Sullivan completed her undergraduate studies and Masters Degree in Anatomy and Structural Biology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Kim joined the Autoimmune Kidney Disease and Vasculitis Research Group within the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at Monash University in 2002 where she completed a staff PhD in Immunology under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Holdsworth and Prof. Richard Kitching. Kim authored the first description of Macrophage Extracellular Traps (METs) in human MPO-ANCA vasculitis (Kidney International 2015), and has co-authored several papers on the role of METs in Lung disease. Dr O’Sullivan has an international and national reputation in ANCA vasculitis studies. Kim's main research area is investigating the pro-inflammatory role of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in MPO-ANCA vasculitis with a particular focus on looking for potential therapeutics which will prevent NET formation and ameliorate disease-without compromising host defence.

Student supervision: Dr. O'Sullivan is currently supervising 1 PhD student at Monash University, and a visiting Clinical fellow from China. Kim is a teaching associate for the Immunology department for Units: IMM3031, IMM3042, IMM2011, IMM2022 and 1st year medical students MED1200. Kim is taking enquiries for Honours and PhD Projects for 2021 on the role of neutrophil extracellular traps in perpetuating inflammation in vasculitis.

Collaborations: Kim has active collaborations with scientists considered to be leaders in their respective fields internationally she is actively collaborating with Dr Daniel Appelgren, Prof Marten Segelmark (Linkoping University, Sweden) on the role of mtDNA in vasculitis and locally with Dr Grant Logan (University of Sydney Australia) on the role of adeno associated viral vectors of DNase I to treat experimental vasculitis and Dr. Paul King (Monash University, Australia) on the role of macrophage extracellular traps in Lung disease. Previous collaborations have already resulted in publications for her work on Macrophage extracellular Traps (METS) (Sci Rep, J.Vix.Exp, and PLoS one) and mast cells (PLoS One) and in other diseases (COPD and anti GBM glomerulonephritis) respectively. This lends support to her influence and respect in her own field of research and demonstrates that her novel discoveries have translated to other disease areas. Her work on the identification of immune cells in human kidney biopsies and the use of super resolution microscopy and advanced image analysis has been the subject of a recent invited methods paper using advanced machine learning (JoVE, 2020 in press).

Service to the scientific community: Kim is an emerging respected leader at Monash University, she has been invited to sit on steering committees for platform technologies due to her breadth of knowledge of advanced microscopy techniques and image analysis using advanced computer machine learning programmes (Monash Micro Imaging) and the Monash Histology Platform. In 2020 she is serving as the chair of the ImmuMON committee responsible for organising a symposia to highlight the research from ECR and Mid-Career researchers across departments/schools with an Immunology theme at Monash. Locally, Kim is the convenor of the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases weekly seminar series, which involves inviting guest speakers and local researchers to present their research.

Kim is a passionate supporter of women in STEM, she is a brainstem mentor for year 9 high school students and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

 Kim is a member of the Australian Society of Immunology, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, the Society of Leukocyte Biology, and the American Society of Nephrology. Kim has been invited as a session chair for 2 international conferences: The world congress of Immunology (2016) and Innovations in Renal Research (2016). Her expertise in pathology and immunology is evident in her invited participation in peer review for the Journals: Nephrology, Xenotransplantation, Pathology, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Kidney International, and the Journal of Immunology and Cell Biology.

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 27 Feb 2018

Research area keywords

  • kidney disease
  • Immunology and Inflammation
  • T cells
  • ANCA Vasculitis
  • Neutrophils


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