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Personal profile

Biography

Research interests
1. HLA and transplant immunology: Examining allogeneic T cell responses in HLA mismatched transplants. Development of a novel cellular assay for allo-specific T cell quantitation to explore HLA alloreactivity and immunodominance hierarchies. Key findings investigating HLA alloreactivity resulted in several publications (AJT, PNAS, Transplantation, Immunity). Investigating both innate and adaptive immunity in lung transplant recipients and the association with long term outcomes. Methodologies include cell culture, cellular assays, transfected cell lines, MHC/peptide tetramers, flow cytometry and molecular techniques.
2. Cross-reactive anti-viral memory T cells: Exploring the role of known and/or discover novel cross-reactive anti-viral memory T cells following transplantation. Measuring the contribution of both allo-specific and virus-specific T cells to the overall alloresponse. To determine whether the presence of cross-reactive anti-viral T cells modulates the alloresponse. Methodologies are same as outlined above.

Research:
My scientific research career began in Immunohaematology with an interest in red cell antigens. My seminal research led to the development of novel molecular genotyping for ABO (2 first author publications) and KEL (1 first author publication in prestigious journal, Blood) blood group systems and the discovery of 3 new alleles (O, B and cis-AB groups; 1 first author publication) and an ASBT/HSANZ conference award (1998). This work led to numerous local and national invited speaker presentations to special interests groups, education meetings and conferences.
Gaining interest in transplantation immunology, particularly improved transplant donor/recipient matching strategies for better post transplant outcomes, I undertook an Honours (2000) and subsequent PhD (2001-2004) project entitled 'Assessing the allogeneic T cell response in transplantation' (supervisor Prof. J. McCluskey, University of Melbourne) to develop a novel cellular assay for quantitation of allo-specific T cells. Key research findings, enabled contribution to 4 team oriented publications (Immunity, J Exp Med, PNAS) and a first author publication (Am J Transplant). Presentation of my research at national and international meetings led to the ASEATTA conference award (2001).
Consolidation of my T cell immunology research interests was achieved with a 2 year postdoctoral position (2004-06) at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (supervisor A/Prof W. Chen). I refined technical skills and knowledge in the areas of antigen processing/presentation and identification of novel T cell epitopes from the NY-ESO-1 protein, providing key data for 3 team publications (PNAS, J Immunol).
Shifting my focus back towards human T cell immunology in solid organ (lung) transplantation, I joined the Respiratory Medicine Laboratory (Head, A/Prof T. Kotsimbos) Monash University/Alfred Hospital (2006-current). This postdoctoral and laboratory manager position has enabled me to develop my own scientific interests in a clinical environment; (i) measurement of allo-specific T cells and dissection of the immunodominance hierarchy (Am J Transplant), (ii) heterologous immunity mediated by cross-reactive anti-viral memory T cells (ICB, Transplantation, collaborations: Dr K. Kedzierska, University of Melbourne), (iii) chronic DNA viruses and their contribution to bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in lung transplantation (Am J Transplant, Transplantation, collaborations: clinicians in the Lung Transplant Unit, Alfred Hospital) and (iii) injury and repair mechanisms following lung transplantation (collaborations: Dr A. Bourdin, CHU Arnaud de Villeneuve, France and Dr J. Jowett, Baker IDI).
The pursuit of cutting edge translational research enabled me to obtain a NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship (2007-10) and funding from industry (2006 ARCBS CI-B), philanthropic foundations (2007-08, 2010-12 The Margaret Pratt Foundation CI-A) and a NHMRC project grant (2009-11 CI-B). I peer review for Am J Transplant, J Immunology, Respirology, Clin Exp Allergy, Human Immunology, Tissue Antigens and Int Arch Allergy Immunology.

 

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Research area keywords

  • HLA
  • transplantation
  • immunology
  • T cells
  • alloreactivity
  • cross-reactivity
  • Viral immunity
  • autoimmunity
  • drug allergy

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Projects 2007 2018

Research Output 1996 2019

Downregulation of MHC Class I Expression by Influenza A and B Viruses

Koutsakos, M., McWilliam, H. E. G., Aktepe, T. E., Fritzlar, S., Illing, P. T., Mifsud, N. A., Purcell, A. W., Rockman, S., Reading, P. C., Vivian, J. P., Rossjohn, J., Brooks, A. G., Mackenzie, J. M., Mintern, J. D., Villadangos, J. A., Nguyen, T. H. O. & Kedzierska, K., 29 May 2019, In : Frontiers in Immunology. 10, 12 p., 1158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
2 Citations (Scopus)

HLA-associated antiepileptic drug-induced cutaneous adverse reactions

Mullan, K. A., Anderson, A., Illing, P. T., Kwan, P., Purcell, A. W. & Mifsud, N. A., Jun 2019, In : HLA. 93, 6, p. 417-435 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Human CD8 + T cell cross-reactivity across influenza A, B and C viruses

Koutsakos, M., Illing, P. T., Nguyen, T. H. O., Mifsud, N. A., Crawford, J. C., Rizzetto, S., Eltahla, A. A., Clemens, E. B., Sant, S., Chua, B. Y., Wong, C. Y., Allen, E. K., Teng, D., Dash, P., Boyd, D. F., Grzelak, L., Zeng, W., Hurt, A. C., Barr, I., Rockman, S. & 17 others, Jackson, D. C., Kotsimbos, T. C., Cheng, A. C., Richards, M., Westall, G. P., Loudovaris, T., Mannering, S. I., Elliott, M., Tangye, S. G., Wakim, L. M., Rossjohn, J., Vijaykrishna, D., Luciani, F., Thomas, P. G., Gras, S., Purcell, A. W. & Kedzierska, K., 18 Feb 2019, In : Nature Immunology. 20, p. 613-625 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
Open Access
18 Citations (Scopus)

A subset of HLA-I peptides are not genomically templated: Evidence for cis- and trans-spliced peptide ligands

Faridi, P., Li, C., Ramarathinam, S. H., Vivian, J. P., Illing, P. T., Mifsud, N. A., Ayala, R., Song, J., Gearing, L. J., Hertzog, P. J., Ternette, N., Rossjohn, J., Croft, N. P. & Purcell, A. W., 12 Oct 2018, In : Science Immunology. 3, 28, 12 p., eaar3947.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Prizes

Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI) Postdoctoral Travel Grant

Nicole Mifsud (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Central Clinical School Travel Grant

Nicole Mifsud (Recipient), 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

NHMRC Peter Doherty Training Fellowship

Nicole Mifsud (Recipient), 2007

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Activities 2000 2012

  • 6 Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries
  • 3 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Postdoctoral Reference committee

Nicole Mifsud (Member)
23 Mar 2012

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Early Career Researchers retreat committee

Nicole Mifsud (Member)
1 Jan 2011

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Early Career Researchers Committee

Nicole Mifsud (Member)
1 Jan 20101 Dec 2011

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (External organisation)

Nicole Mifsud (Member)
1 Jan 2010

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Early Career Researchers Steering committee

Nicole Mifsud (Member)
1 Jan 2010

Activity: External Academic EngagementSubmissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Press / Media

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Research Day

Nicole Mifsud

26/08/11

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Interview

Nicole Mifsud

31/12/10

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Charity Luncheon

Nicole Mifsud

31/12/09

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities