- 16 October 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Tuesday 16 October 2018, 1.00 pm
Auditorium, Level 3, central building
The Ever Expanding Army of Immune Cell Types That Ensure Our Protection
Professor Gabrielle Belz,
Molecular Immunology, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne
The adaptive and innate lymphocytes work cooperatively to provide immune protection and maintain homeostasis. While this is well accepted, how the immune system achieves this has unearthed a number of unanticipated surprises in the last few years. The picture of the network governed by the cellular army of the innate arm is only just emerging. This highlights the diverse strategies that innate and innate-like cells utilize to tackle infections and to negotiate the constant dialogue with trillions of endogenous organisms to maintain homeostasis. How these cells develop and are tuned to different insults is not yet completely clear but provides the foundation for understanding not only how individual innate cells develop but also how the interplay between different innate populations is orchestrated. It opens a whole new array of exciting possibilities for immune regulation and immunotherapeutic strategies.
Gabrielle Belz originally trained in Veterinary medicine and surgery and received her PhD from the University of Queensland. After a short stint in Canada to work on B cells, took up a postdoctoral position at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Peter Doherty after receiving a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship. Here she established a number of systems that now allow tracking of virus-specific T cells and established the paradigm changing notion that CD4 T cell help was required for generating antiviral responses. She returned to WEHI to work on dendritic cells in viral infection, identifying the key DCs necessary for initiating antiviral infections. Subsequently she was awarded the Burnet Prize and established her own laboratory in the Immunology Division in 2008. She is currently an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Molecular Immunology. Her research contributions have been recognized by a number of awards including a Wellcome Trust Overseas Fellowship, HHMI international fellowship, ARC Future fellowship, Doctorate of Veterinary Science and the Gottschalk Medal (Australian Academy of Science). She leads a research team focused on deciphering the key cellular, transcriptional and epigenetic signals used by naïve and memory T cells in infections and in understanding how innate immune cells develop and contribute to protection against infections.