The laboratory uses preclinical transplant models to dissect the immunological mechanisms of transplant rejection and aims to improve patient outcome through new therapies to prevent and treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Research focuses on pathways of alloreactivity leading to graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukaemia (GVL) effects. The ultimate aim is to generate testable therapeutic interventions that attenuate GVHD and improve GVL.
Clinical trial protocol
- TCZ Clinical trial protocol (PDF).
Senior Scientist: Professor Geoffrey Hill
- Dr Siok Tey, Team Head
- Dr Motoko Koyama, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Slavica Vuckovic, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Kate Markey, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Kate Gartlan, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Ping Zhang, Research Officer
- Dr Antiopi Varelias, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Renee Robb, Research Officer/CJ Martin Fellow
- Rachel Kuns, Research Assistant
- Stuart Olver, Research Assistant
- Luke Samson, Research Assistant
- Karshing Chang, Research Assistant
- Daniel Browne, Research Assistant
- Kelly Locke, Scientific Technical Officer
- Dr Andrea Henden, PhD Student
- Jose Paulo Martins, PhD Student
- Simone Minnie, PhD student
- Andrew Wilkinson, PhD student
- Jourdin Rouaen, Honours Student
- Megan Gray, Honours Student
- Judith Avery, Clinical Trial Coordinator
- Nienke Zomerdijk, Clinical Trial Coordinators
- Associate Professor Glen Kennedy, Visiting Scientist
- Julius Agbeve, Clinical Data Manager
- Angela Witherspoon, Clinical Trial Coordinator
Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation remains the procedure of choice for the cure of a number of haematological malignancies (e.g. leukaemia and lymphoma) and severe immunodeficiencies. The procedure results in cure rates up to 75 percent but is limited by its serious complications, particularly graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This is the process whereby the newly transplanted immune system recognises the transplant recipient as ‘foreign’ and mounts a rejection response. Recently the use of cytokines has allowed the transplantation of blood stem cells (referred to as stem cell transplantation-SCT) that has replaced BMT in clinical practice.
Our laboratory has been at the forefront of understanding how these cytokines affect GVHD. We aim to improve transplant outcome by utilising preclinical transplant models where immunological mechanisms of transplant rejection can be dissected so that rational therapeutic strategies can be developed and trialled in clinical practice. Our laboratory has established NHMRC program and project grant funding together with additional grants from the Queensland Cancer Council, Wellcome Trust, Leukaemia Foundation and Pharma. There are multiple NHMRC fellows within the laboratory, experienced Postdoctoral researchers, and additional research assistants that ensure a very productive environment. The group also includes state of the art flow cytometers (18 colour Fortessa LSR x 2) and an imaging flow cytometry system (10 colour Amnis Imagestream).
We have the following exciting projects that utilise novel new reagents that are suitable for students.
For more information about these projects, please contact the supervisors listed with each project.
- To identify a unique signature for pathogenic colon-derived donor dendritic cells which enhance adverse immune effects after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
- Role of infiltrating regulatory T cells in myeloma progression after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Boosting anti-myeloma immune effectors through natural killer alloreactivity and agonist stimulation of effector functions
- The post-haematopoietic stem cell transplantation settings as a platform for graft-versus-myeloma effect
- What is the influence of infection driven T cell polarisation on graft-versus-host disease?
- Characterising miRNA expression after bone marrow transplantation to develop novel therapeutics
- Understanding the interplay between cytokines and the microbiome during homeostasis and acute GVHD
If you wish to apply for QIMR Berghofer's student program,
click here for more information.