The Immunopathology Laboratory is focussed on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive immune-mediated pathologies. Our recent focus is on adaptive immune polarisation following allogeneic stem cell transplantation and its influence on graft versus host disease (GVHD). Donor stem cell transplantation is an important curative therapy in the treatment of blood cancers, however its application is limited by serious complications such as GVHD that have a significant impact on patient mortality and quality of life.
Early inflammatory responses during preparative transplant conditioning initiate a cascade of adaptive immune responses that manifest as acute and/or chronic tissue damage in >50% of transplant recipients. GVHD treatment options are relatively limited and focused on immunosuppression and steroidal therapy, which are problematic due to opportunistic infection and refractory disease, therefore new therapies are urgently needed.