Tumour Immunology

Professor Rajiv Khanna AO

Senior Scientist

The major goal of the Tumour Immunology Laboratory is to obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which an immune response to tumours may be generated, augmented and applied to the inhibition of tumour growth. The members of this laboratory share the expectation that such insight will be applicable to the treatment and/or prevention of cancer.


  • targeting ubiquitously expressed EBV cancer-associated antigen EBNA1 for immunotherapy
  • developing a prophylactic vaccine for human cytomegalovirus
  • design of recombinant therapeutic vaccines to EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • design of T cell therapies and therapeutic vaccines to EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • developing T cell-based immunotherapy and prophylactic vaccine strategy for human cytomegalovirus-associated diseases
  • targeting immune-based therapies to prevent/treat viral infections in transplant patients
  • investigating impact of immune contexture on clinical outcome of adoptive immunotherapy
  • combining immune monitoring and Immunotherapy for infectious complications in solid organ transplant patients


  • Linda Jones, Lab Manager
  • Professor Denis Moss, Honorary SPRF
  • Dr Archana Panikkar, Research Officer
  • Dr George Ambalathingal Thomas, Research Officer
  • Dr Kristine Hua, Research Officer
  • Dr Vijayendra Dasari, Research Officer
  • Paulo Martins, Research Officer
  • Laetitia Le Texier, Research Officer
  • Debottam Sinha, Research Officer
  • Sriganesh Srihari, Research Officer
  • Kunal Bhatt, Research Officer
  • Reshma Shakya, Research Officer
  • Dr Michelle Neller, Clinical Trials Manager
  • Dr Katherine Matthews, Clinical Trials Coordinator
  • Pauline Crooks, Research Assistant
  • Leone Beagley, Research Assistant
  • Lea Lekieffre, Research Assistant
  • Sweera Rehan, Research Assistant
  • Kirrilee Beckett, Research Assistant
  • Shannon Best, Research Assistant
  • Jyothy Raju, Research Assistant
  • Matthew Solomon, Research Assistant
  • Meggie Voogt, Program Manager
  • Srividhya Swaminathan, PhD Student
  • Caitlyn Smith, Student
  • Madusha Ranjankumar, Student
  • Taniya Ahuja, Student

We gratefully acknowledge funding support from the following:

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • National Institutes of Health (US)
  • Leukaemia Foundation
  • Newro Foundation


Cellular immunotherapy – engineering “custom built” cells to treat cancer

This project is suited for a Master’s or PhD work and is flexible for clinical students. Current standard approaches for the treatment of human cancers typically employ broad acting radiotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic approaches. There has been growing interest in approaches using immunotherapy with adoptive cell transfer (ACT): using patient’s immune cells to treat their cancer. […]

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Improving the efficacy of T-cell therapy in vivo

Suitable for Masters or Short-term clinical Students Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) has shown good promise in the treatment of a range of virus-associated diseases and haematological cancers. However, it faces a number of barriers to efficacy against solid cancers, as the tumour microenvironment (TME) and disease burden play a critical role in regulating the clinical […]

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Adoptive T-cell therapy for HPV associated cancers

Suitable for PhD or Honours Students Long-lasting infections with high-risk human papillomavirus -16 (HPV16) can cause epithelial cancers, which include squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and adenocarcinomas of the cervix, oropharynx, anus, vulva, vagina, and penis. Oncogenic HPV virus accounts for approximately 600,000 cases worldwide every year and advanced HPV-associated cancers are generally incurable and resistant […]

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