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Personal profile

Research interests

The use of glucocorticoids (GC) is a pillar of modern medicine, relied upon daily in millions of patients worldwide for their broad suppressive effects on harmful inflammatory pathways. However, GC also cause predictable harmful metabolic side effects. Despite advances in care, 30-80% respectively of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remain chronically treated with GC. Therefore, ever since the award of the 1950 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology to the team who discovered their therapeutic effects, the discovery of a safe and effective replacement for GC has represented a major unmet need for medicine.

 

Our group has discovered that the Glucocorticoid Induced Leucine Zipper (GILZ) is a powerful GC mimic that does not cause the harmful side effects of GC. We have shown that GILZ has similar anti-inflammatory effects to GC in a wide range of immune cells and in disease models. Therefore, targeting GILZ therapeutically represents a compelling alternative to GCs. My work focuses on paving a pathway towards developing such a therapeutic strategy to target GILZ.

 

See more about our research here: https://youtu.be/2KS1WZbGFJs 

Biography

I am a post-doctoral fellow in Dr Sarah Jones laboratory at Monash University’s School of Clinical Sciences, based at Monash Medical Centre and co-located with clinical researchers in the wider Rheumatology group headed by Professor Eric Morand. My research investigates the molecular factors underlying dysregulated immune responses present in autoimmune disease, with a focus on translation towards glucocorticoid-sparing treatments. I recently completed my PhD in 2022 in Professor Stephen Turner’s T Cell Transcriptional and Epigenetic Laboratory at the Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University. Here I received training in molecular biology techniques and mouse models of viral infection to study the regulation of CD8+ T cells by GILZ.

 

Supervision interests

I am currently recruiting PhD, Honours and BMedSci students. Please contact me if you are interested in joining our group.

Consulting

Author at Nelson Cengage Learning 

  • Nelson Biology VCE Units 3 & 4 (Student Book with 4 Access Codes) Sarah Jones, Taylah Bennett, Ann Catchart, Tony Chiovitti, Adrianne Harrowfield.  Copyright year: 2021. ISBN: 978017030265

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Immunology
  • T cells
  • inflammation
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Clinical translation
  • Drug discovery
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • CD8 T cells
  • Infection and immunity
  • Epigenetics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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