Australian and New Zealand Invited Speakers
Immune Cell Biology Programme Leader
Franca Ronchese trained at the University of Padova, Italy, and then as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Ron Germain at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. After her post-doctoral studies, Franca joined the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, where she became interested in antigen presentation by dendritic cells in vivo. Since 1994 Franca has been leading the Immune Cell Biology group at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, New Zealand with a focus on developing immune therapies for cancer and allergies. Her current work examines dendritic cell diversity during the initiation of CD4+ helper T cell responses, with a specific focus on the initiation of allergic immune responses.
Franca Ronchese is a Programme Leader at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington, NZ, and Research Professor at Victoria University of Wellington.
Walter + Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC
Dr Susanne Heinzel is a senior research scientist at the Walter and Elisa Hall Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia and the President of the Australasian Society for Immunology. She completed her PhD at the University in Tuebingen in Germany in the field of Tumour Immunology before moving to Adelaide, Australia where she continued to research in that field. She then joined Vaxine, a small biotech company in Adelaide where she worked as clinical trial manager and senior research scientist on the development of vaccine adjuvants. In 2010 she turned her focus back to the basic research and the quest to understand the regulation of the immune response.
Her research focuses on the quantitative analysis of the rules that govern the activation, survival and expansion of T and B lymphocytes in health and disease. She is fascinated by the reproducibility of incredibly heterogenous immune responses and the mechanism that drive cell fate regulation. Her recent work has been published in journals such as Science, Nat Immunology, Nat Comms, JI and PNAS.
Laboratory Head, Immunology
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Prof Ken Shortman now has an honorary position at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI). He was Head of the Immunology Division at WEHI from 1997 to 2005. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1999. He is awaiting acceptance of his 342nd scientific publication.
Ken Shortman obtained his science degree from Sydney University, originally training as a plant biochemist. He obtained his PhD with Gordon Ada at WEHI when Burnet was director, then had post-doctoral training with Slonimsky at Gif-sur-Yvette, France, and with Kornberg and Lehman at Stanford University; he was then a molecular biologist, before the term was invented. He returned to WEHI in 1964, and has been there ever since, apart from a series of sabbatical periods in France and Switzerland, and recently serving as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore.
Ken Shortman’s research at WEHI was initially in the field of biophysics, developing procedures for immune cell isolation. These techniques were then applied to the field of cellular immunology. Immune cell development became his major research theme; his work on mapping the pathway of T cell development in the thymus with Roland Scollay and Li Wu being especially notable. In 1990 his attention shifted to dendritic cells (DC) and he is probably best known now for his studies on DC development and on DC subset separation and function. This basic information on DC biology is now being applied to vaccine development in his research with Irene Caminschi and Mireille Lahoud at the Monash University on modulating immune responses by targeting antigens to DC surface molecules in situ.
Principal Investigator, Amit Lab for Immuno-genomics
Weizmann Institute of Science
Born on Kibbutz Hatzor, Prof. Ido Amit earned his PhD in biological regulation at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2007. For four years, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the Weizmann Institute in 2011.
Ido Amit is a Professor at the Immunology Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab pioneered single cell genomic technologies and their application to characterize the immune system. Amit’s research answers some of the most fundamental questions in immunology which are being translated into innovate new targets for immunotherapy in autoimmune diseases, neurodegeneration and cancer. Prof. Amit is also known in the science community as a leader in the field of immunogenomics, aimed at detecting and engineering genome sequences that are essential for the function of the immune system in physiology and disease. Among others, Prof, Amit is a recipient of the EMBO Gold Medal award and an HHMI International Research Scholar for his work to reveal the function of the immune system.
Research Assistant Professor
Microbiology & Immunology
University of Miami, USA
Head of Department
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Senior Principal Investigator
Singapore Immunology Network
Florent Ginhoux graduated in Biochemistry from the University Pierre et Marie CURIE (UPMC), Paris VI, obtained a Masters degree in Immunology from the Pasteur Institute in 2000 and his PhD in 2004 from UPMC, Paris VI. As a postdoctoral fellow, he joined the Laboratory of Miriam Merad in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM), New York. In 2008, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gene and Cell Medicine, MSSM and member of the Immunology Institute of MSSM. He joined the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), A*STAR in May 2009 as a Junior Principal Investigator. He is now a Senior Principal Investigator and an EMBO Young Investigator and his laboratory is focusing on the ontogeny and differentiation of macrophages and dendritic cells in both humans and mice.
Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology
University of Oxford, Oxford
Paul Klenerman trained in medicine at Cambridge and Oxford and specialised in infectious diseases. He did PhD studies on HIV at Oxford and postdoctoral work in Zurich on LCMV. His lab in Oxford has pursued studies on the immune responses to persistent viruses, especially hepatitis C virus and CMV. This has focused on T cell responses and development of T cell vaccines and on immune responses in the liver, including studies of immunological memory (memory inflation) and innate like T cells such as MAIT cells. His work has been funded largely through the Wellcome Trust fellowship scheme. He also receives funding through the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Oxford where he co-leads the Mucosal Immunology theme. He currently holds a chair in the Translational Gastroenterology Unit at Oxford and at the Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research.
Lai Guan Ng
Singapore Immunology Network
Dr Ng completed his Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) degree from University of New South Wales, Australia in 2000. He was then awarded an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship to conduct his PhD work at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. After completing his PhD in 2004, he joined Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore for his postdoctoral training under the supervision of Professor Lam Kong Peng. In 2006, Dr Ng joined Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s laboratory at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia USA. Following his postdoctoral training, Dr Ng joined Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) to establish his own laboratory in 2009. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Dr Ng has also been appointed as a adjunct Scientist at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), Singapore. The primary research focus of his group is to study how immune cells exert their function in the context of intact organs by intravital multiphoton microscopy. Using a combination of functional and in vivo imaging studies, his group aims to determine the sequence of cellular and molecular events involved in the regulation of immune cell homeostasis. Dr Ng’s laboratory has established several intravital imaging approaches for direct visualization of immune cell behaviour in the skin, bone marrow, lung, brain and muscle. Dr Ng’s contributions to the field of immunology research is best exemplified by his multiple publications in leading journals such as Journal of Experimental Medicine, Advanced Materials, Nature Protocols and Journal of Investigative Dermatology. He is also a review editor of Frontiers in Immunotherapies and Vaccines and an academic editor for PloS One. Dr. Ng also recently joined the editorial board of Cellular Immunology and Journal of Dermatological Research.
Chair of Biochemistry
Trinity College, Dublin
Professor Luke O’Neill holds the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin where he leads the Inflammation Research Group. He has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London and carried out Post-Doctoral research at Cambridge U.K. His research is in the area of the molecular basis to inflammatory diseases. In 2017 he was named by Thompson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientists, being in the top 1% in Immunology. He is co-founder of 2 Spin-out companies - Opsona Therapeuticsand Inflazome, which is developing new treatments for inflammatory diseases. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.
Professor of Experimental Immunology
Second Department of Internal Medicine
University Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen
Cancer Solutions Program Consultant
Health Sciences North Research Institute Sudbury, Ontario
Graham Pawelec holds an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Transplantation Immunology from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is currently Professor of Experimental Immunology in the Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany and Cancer Solutions Program Consultant, Health Sciences North Research Institute, Sudbury, ON, Canada. He is a Visiting Professor, Nottingham Trent University and at King´s College London, UK. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of “Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy” and is on the Editorial Boards of several Journals including the Journal of Gerontology. He was elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America in 2015. He has coordinated 5 multi-center EU collaborative projects and was a member of 5 others. His research interests focus on alterations to immunity, especially T cell-mediated immunity, in ageing and cancer in man, and the influence these have on the outcome of vaccination and immunomodulatory antibody therapies.
Fiona Powrie FRS
Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology
University of Oxford
Fiona Powrie is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, a basic and translational inflammatory sciences centre at the University of Oxford. She gained a PhD in immunology from the University of Oxford and then moved to the DNAX Research Institute in Paulo Alto. She returned to the University of Oxford in 1996 as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Associate and she was the Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit from 2009-2014. Fiona’s research has identified the functional role of regulatory T cells in intestinal homeostasis and established the cytokine IL-23 as a therapeutic target in chronic intestinal inflammation. Her current interests include characterisation of the interaction between the intestinal microbiome and the host immune system and how this mutualistic relationship breaks down in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and cancer. Fiona received the Ita Askonas Award from the European Federation of Immunological Societies for her contribution to immunology in Europe and the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2012. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, EMBO in 2013 and the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014.
Junior Group Leader
German Center for Lung Research
German Research Center for Environmental Health
Since 2015, Young Principle Investigator with supervising and mentoring position at the Institute for Lung Biology and Disease, Comprehensive Pneumology Center, Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich, Germany. He obtained a PhD degree in Biology from Technion of Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa in 2008. From 2008 until 2014, he moved to become postdoctoral fellow of Prof. Irving L. Weissman, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, USA and in 2014, Basic Life Science Research Associate at Stanford University. Yuval’s scientific focus lies in identifying principles of tissue/organ regeneration, and developing a knowledge basis for therapeutic strategies in clinical use. His lab explores the stem cells, embryonic lineages and mechanisms by which tissues/organs regenerate following injury, at multiple levels of biological organization. His research is currently funded by grants from the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung (EKFS), Human Frontier Science (HFSPO) Program Organisation, German Research (DFG) and the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung (FTS). Yuval is member of several Scientific Societies and publishes in peer-reviewed journals and gives lectures at numerous, distinguished Conferences and Institutes. In 2017 he was elected on the Board of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS)
Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
California Institute of Technology
Ellen Rothenberg is the Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology at Caltech. She graduated from Harvard University and received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, she took her first faculty position at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, then joined the Caltech faculty in 1982. Her recent honors include the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2016), and election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017) and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018). She has organized multiple international conferences in immunology and systems developmental biology and has served on multiple editorial and scientific advisory boards. She studies gene regulation and development of T lymphocytes, gene networks controlling hematopoietic cell fates, and mechanisms underlying the dynamics of single-cell developmental decisions.
Director and Principal Investigator
Shanghai Institute of Immunology
Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine
Australian and New Zealand Invited Speakers
The University of Melbourne, VIC
Associate Professor Paul Cameron received his Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of Western Australia, trained in clinical immunology and immunopathology and was awarded a PhD in 1991 for research on molecular immunology and immunogenetics. Paul was a postdoctoral in cellular immunology with Nobel Laureate Ralph Steinman at Rockefeller University in New York between 1990-1992 and was a Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute and University of Melbourne between 1993-2002. Since 2005, Paul has worked as a clinician researcher with Professor Sharon Lewin in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Monash University and from 2014 at the Doherty Institute.
Group Leader, The Cockburn Group - Malaria Immunology
The John Curtin School of Medical Research
Australian National University, ACT
Ian Cockburn's research focuses on immunity to the malaria parasite Plasmodium. He has made critical findings in understanding how CD8+ T cells can find and eliminate parasites in the liver. More recently he has developed new systems to track the B cell and antibody responses to Plasmodium sporozoites and understand how these can be harnessed for effective vaccination. He obtained his PhD in 2005 from the University of Edinburgh and after post-doctoral work at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was recruited to the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University as an Associate Professor in 2013.
Laboratory Head and Head of Cancer Division
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research/University of Western Australia, Perth
Professor Ruth Ganss is Scientific Head of the Cancer Division at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth/Western Australia, heads the laboratory of “Vascular Biology and Stromal Targeting”, and is the Woodside Cancer Research Fellow. During the last decades, her research at the University of California, San Francisco, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and now at the Harry Perkins Institute has focused on blood vessels as the interfase between immunology and cancer research. She has pioneered the concept of tumour vessel normalization in the context of immunotherapy. She continues to develop innovative reagents for stromal targeting and therapeutic intervention in cancer.
EMBL Australia Node in Single Molecule Science
ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Scientia Professor Katharina Gaus is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales and Head of the EMBL Australia Node in Single Molecule Science. She is also the Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging (2014-2020). Katharina received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1999 and has led an independent research group since 2005. Her group investigates signal transduction processes in T lymphocytes with advanced fluorescence microscopy approaches. She was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (2010), the Gottschalk Medal from the Australian Academy of Science (2012), the New South Wales Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Biological Sciences (2013) and the Khwarizmi International Award (2018).
Division Head, Immunology
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, VIC
Axel Kallies completed his PhD in Berlin, Germany. After a postdoc at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), he established his own laboratory at the WEHI in 2010. He was recently recruited to the Department for Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne. His team studies the molecular and metabolic control of lymphocyte differentiation in response to antigen. The Kallies lab has developed and applied genetic and molecular approaches to this field, including novel reporter mouse strains, metabolic techniques, transcriptional profiling, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and accessible chromatin (ATAC) sequencing. The Kallies lab published several key studies in leading journals of the field, including Science, Immunity and Nature Immunology, which detail the roles of transcription factors and cytokines in differentiation, clonal expansion and cellular metabolism of lymphocytes. Over the last few years, the Kallies lab has developed a particular focus on linking transcriptional control and cellular metabolism on lymphocyte populations residing in non-lymphoid tissue, including tumors.
A/Prof Cecile King
Laboratory Head, Department of Immunology
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Dr King received her PhD from the Telethon Institute for Child Health, WA and completed her postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. She joined the faculty of the Department of Immunology at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia in 2005 and is a conjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of New South Wales. Dr King continues to be intrigued by how the immune system maintains tolerance to self. Her research is focused on how interactions between the environment and immune system influence chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. Dr King has made some important contributions to our understanding of how cytokines influence adaptive immune responses. Dr King’s interests now include genes within nucleic acid sensing pathways that are associated with autoimmune disease risk and how the recognition of RNA influences adaptive immune responses.
Graham Le Gros
Director of Research, Allergic and Parasitic Diseases Programme Leader
Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington, New Zealand
Professor Graham Le Gros was appointed Research Director of the Malaghan Institute in 1994, following a three-year Fogarty Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Washington DC, and a five-year scientist position with Ciba-Geigy in Basel, Switzerland.
In 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in recognition of his research contributions to the fields of immunology and asthma. In 2010 he was awarded the Wellington Medical Research Foundation Gold Medal and in 2011 he won the Science and Technology category of the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards for his contribution to medical research in Wellington and New Zealand.
In 2014 Prof Le Gros was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and in June 2014 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
In 2016 he received the Sir Geoffrey Peren Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award 2016 by Massay University Floreat Scientia.
In 2017 Prof Le Gros has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
Prof Le Gros is Chief Executive of the Malaghan Institute. He works closely with the trust board in their governance of the institute’s activities. He leads an active biomedical research programme in allergic and parasitic diseases.
Associate Professor Meredith O'Keeffe is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Laboratory of Dendritic Cell Driven Immunity in Health and Disease, Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University. Meredith received her PhD from Monash University in 1998 and then spent 6 years in the laboratory of Prof Ken Shortman, WEHI where she was trained in dendritic cell biology. She then continued dendritic cell research in a new lab at Bavarian-Nordic GmbH, Munich, Germany and returned to Australia in 2009, setting up a lab at the Burnet Institute, Melbourne. Meredith joined Monash University in September 2015.
Meredith's research interests include investigating how activation of dendritic cells is regulated in health and in different disease settings including Lupus, cancer and pathogen infections.
A/Prof Kate Schroder
Laboratory Head, Deputy Director of the IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
Associate Professor Kate Schroder heads the Inflammasome Laboratory at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, as an NHMRC RD Wright Fellow. Kate’s graduate studies defined novel macrophage activation mechanisms, and her PhD was awarded in 2005. Her subsequent postdoctoral research identified surprising inter-species divergence in the inflammatory programs of human versus mouse macrophages. As an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow in Switzerland, Kate trained with the pioneer of inflammasome biology, Jürg Tschopp. Her laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms governing inflammasome activity and caspase activation, the cellular mediators of inflammasome-dependent inflammation, and mechanisms of inflammasome inhibition by cellular pathways and small molecule inhibitors.
Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC
Professor Tang is a Paediatric immunologist allergist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia; Group Leader of Allergy and Immune Disorders Research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; and a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. She graduated from Medicine (with Honors) at The University of Melbourne in 1986, where she also attained her PhD in 1995. She went on to complete her Allergy and Immunology training through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists Australasia in 1997.
Professor Tang has received national and international awards in recognition of her achievements in allergy immunology research and clinical care, including the prestigious Victorian Public Healthcare Award (Category – Most Appropriate Care), the Pharmacia International Allergy Fellowship and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology President's Grant-in-Aid Award.
Professor Tang is a Board Director of the World Allergy Organisation. She sits on various expert committees of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, World Allergy Organisation and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.
Professor Tang is an internationally recognized leader in the field of allergy and immunology. She has authored more than 280 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and received in excess of $30M in peer-reviewed grant funding. She is an invited speaker at major international scientific meetings in the field of Allergy and Immunology including the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), European Academy of Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Asia Pacific Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and World Allergy Congress (WAC).
Professor Tang is committed to improving the lives of children with allergic and immune disorders through delivering evidence based clinical care and leading cutting edge research. Her research investigates the role of the intestinal microbiota in early life immune programming with the ultimate aim of identifying new approaches to treat or prevent allergic disease. Recently, she has developed a highly effective novel treatment for food allergy that induced remission of peanut allergy in 80% of those treated. The patented probiotic food immunotherapy technology has been licensed to Prota Therapeutics, an Australian biotech start up company spun out of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, NSW
Stuart Tangye is the Head of the Immunology Division at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia), Professor at UNSW Sydney, and an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He completed his PhD in 1995 and undertook postdoctoral training at the DNAX Research Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in California. He returned to Australia in 2000 as a University of Sydney Research Fellow to work with Dr Phil Hodgkin at the Centenary Institute (University of Sydney). He established an independent research lab in 2002, and was recruited to the Garvan Institute in 2006.
His research interests focus on human immunobiology in health and disease. This is achieved by studying lymphocyte development, signalling, differentiation and effector function in patients with diseases resulting from monogenic loss- or gain-of-function mutations in key regulators of immune responses. His lab has made significant contributions to elucidating how these mutations result in some of the clinical features associated with human primary immunodeficiencies. He has been funded by fellowships and grants from NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, NIH, Jeffrey Modell Foundation, XLP Research Trust and AICR. Since 1995, he has published ~160 peer-reviewed articles, invited reviews and book chapters, and in 2011 he received the Gottschalk Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences, which recognises “outstanding research in the medical sciences by scientists no more than 40 years of age”. He was awarded the Faculty of Science Alumni Excellence Award from the University of Technology Sydney (2013), and a Senior Scholarship from the US-Australian Fulbright Commission to undertake sabbatical study at Rockefeller University. He is on the editorial boards of J Exp Med, J Immunol, J Clin Immunol and Front Immunol. When he is not at work, he enjoys surfing, cycling, swimming and being Dad to his three beautiful children!