Dr Siok Tey graduated from the University of Queensland in 1996 and completed her training in clinical and laboratory haematology in Brisbane in 2005. Her interest in tumour immunotherapy led to a two-year research fellowship at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, USA. She returned to Brisbane in 2007 and undertook a PhD in cytomegalovirus immunology at QIMR Berghofer. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship supported by an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. She was appointed Team Head and Senior Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer in 2017. Siok maintains active clinical practice as a senior staff specialist in clinical haematology and bone marrow transplantation at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- Senior research fellow (SRF-A)
Other current appointments
- Senior staff specialist, Department of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
- Honorary Senior Lecturer , Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland
- Research fellow, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
Current Area of Research
The Translational Cancer Immunotherapy Laboratory studies the interaction between the immune response and tumour control, with a particular emphasis on translating our ever-expanding basic science knowledge into clinically applicable therapeutic platforms. It has particular interest and expertise in bone marrow transplantation and cell and gene therapy, and is currently one of only a few centres in Australia that are conducting investigator-driven clinical trials using gene-modified T cells. In addition to developing new approaches to target cancer cells, the laboratory is also developing a method to expand donor-derived regulatory T cells to treat graft-versus-host disease, which is a common and life-threatening immune-driven complication of bone marrow transplantation. Using state-of-the-art technology, including gene-marking and single cell transcriptomics, immune reconstitution following bone marrow transplantation can be understood. Basic science research is focussed on the impact of cytomegalovirus reactivation on graft-versus-leukaemia effect. Cytomegalovirus is a common virus that is typically acquired during childhood; it has a marked influence on the immune landscape and, interestingly, has been associated with improved graft-versus-leukaemia effect following bone marrow transplantation. Our laboratory has developed a murine model of cytomegalovirus reactivation to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of this observation, which may lead to new ways to enhance anti-leukaemic immunity.
- Developed a clinically applicable method to insert a safety switch, inducible caspase 9 (iCasp9), into donor T cells, and initiated the first clinical study in Australia to use this technology to improve the safety of bone marrow transplantation in leukaemia patients. This project established QIMR Berghofer as a site for manufacturing iCasp9-gene-modified T cells in-house for investigator-driven studies.
- Human cytomegalovirus immunity: clinical immune monitoring of cytomegalovirus in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation and identification of latency-associated transcript, UL138, as a target for T cell immune response.
- Developed a preclinical model of cytomegalovirus latency and post-transplant reactivation to understand the interplay between cytomegalovirus and bone marrow transplant outcome.
- Defined the effect of CD52 monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab, as a salvage treatment for steroid-refractory GVHD.
- American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
- American Society of Hematology
- Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group
- Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand
- International Society for Cell Therapy
- Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Member of Editorial Board, Clinical and Translational Immunology, an official journal of Australasian Society for Immunology
- 2014: Clinical Researcher Award ‐ Australian Society of Medical Research Queensland
- 2011: Peter Doherty Award, Brisbane Immunology Group
- 2006: Young Investigator Award, Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand
- 1996: University Medal, University of Queensland
- 1996: Lilian Cooper Prize, University of Queensland, for highest grade point average over the six years of the MBBS course
- 2012: PhD, University of Queensland
- 2005: Fellowship of Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
- 2004: Fellow ship of Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- 1996: MBBS (Hons I), University of Queensland