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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.

 

Related Links:

Keywords

  • HLA
  • transplantation
  • immunology
  • T cells
  • anti-tumour immunity
  • cd8+ t cells
  • cross-priming
  • influenza a
  • cross-reactive viral T cells
  • alloreactivity
  • cross-reactivity
  • t cells
  • lung transplant recipients
  • human cytomegalovirus
  • ie1-pp65 protein
  • immunodominance hierarchy

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Projects 2007 2018

Research Output 1996 2018

Identification of native and posttranslationally modified HLA-B*57:01- restricted HIV envelope derived epitopes using immunoproteomics

Ramarathinam, S. H., Gras, S., Alcantara, S., Yeung, A. W. S., Mifsud, N. A., Sonza, S., Illing, P., Glaros, E. N., Center, R. J., Thomas, S. R., Kent, S. J., Ternette, N., Purcell, D. F. J., Rossjohn, J. & Purcell, A. W. Jun 2018 In : Proteomics. 18, 12, 11 p., 1700253

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Inability to detect cross-reactive memory T cells challenges the frequency of heterologous immunity among common viruses

Rowntree, L. C., Nguyen, T. H. O., Halim, H., Purcell, A. W., Rossjohn, J., Gras, S., Kotsimbos, T. C. & Mifsud, N. A. 15 Jun 2018 In : Journal of Immunology. 200, 12, p. 3993-4003 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Maintenance of the EBV-specific CD8+ TCRαβ repertoire in immunosuppressed lung transplant recipients

Nguyen, T. HO., Bird, N. L., Grant, E. J., Miles, J. J., Thomas, P. G., Kotsimbos, T. C., Mifsud, N. A. & Kedzierska, K. Jan 2017 In : Immunology and Cell Biology. 95, 1, p. 77-86 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File

Allotype specific interactions of drugs and HLA molecules in hypersensitivity reactions

Illing, P. T., Mifsud, N. A. & Purcell, A. W. Oct 2016 In : Current Opinion in Immunology. 42, p. 31-40 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

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

Mifsud, N. A. (Member)
23 Mar 2012

Activity: Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Early Career Researchers retreat committee

Mifsud, N. A. (Member)
1 Jan 2011

Activity: Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

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

Mifsud, N. A. (Member)
1 Jan 2010

Activity: Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Early Career Researchers Committee

Mifsud, N. A. (Member)
1 Jan 20101 Dec 2011

Activity: Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Early Career Researchers Steering committee

Mifsud, N. A. (Member)
1 Jan 2010

Activity: Submissions to industry or govt committees, commissions and inquiries

Press / Media

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Research Day

Nicole Andrea Mifsud

26/08/11

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Interview

Nicole Andrea Mifsud

31/12/10

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

The Margaret Pratt Foundation - Charity Luncheon

Nicole Andrea Mifsud

31/12/09

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities