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


  • Alejandro Lopez, Affiliate
  • Ankita Kamboj, Masters Student
  • Dr Archana Panikkar, Research Officer
  • Carla Vieira, PhD Student, Scientific Technical Officer
  • Deepna Balakrishnan, Masters Student
  • Professor Denis Moss, Honorary SPRF
  • Enya Chen, Research Officer
  • Dr George Ambalathingal Thomas, Research Officer
  • Hilary Reddiex, Clinical Research Associate
  • Jacqueline Burrows, Senior Laboratory Coordinator
  • Ji Hye Hur, Masters Student
  • Jyothy Raju, Research Assistant
  • Leone Beagley, Research Assistant
  • Linda Jones, Scientific Officer
  • Matthew Solomon, Research Assistant
  • Meggie Voogt, Program Manager
  • Dr Michelle Neller, Clinical Trials Manager
  • Pamela Mukhopadhyay, Research Officer
  • Pauline Crooks, Laboratory Manager
  • Paulo Martins, Senior Research Officer
  • Sally Pearson, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Shane Horsefield, Research Officer
  • Shannon Best, Research Assistant
  • Sriganesh Srihari, Affiliate
  • Sweera Rehan, Operational Officer (stud rel), PhD Student
  • Thuy Le, Research Assistant
  • Dr Vijayendra Dasari, Vaccine Development Scientist
  • Vikas Duhan, Senior Research Officer


  • Prof. Alejandro Lopez (Griffith University)


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


Structural biology

Suitable for Honours and Masters Students. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning disease is crucial to the development of diagnostics, treatments and cures for diseases including cancer, immune disorders and infectious diseases. In the Tumour Immunology laboratory, we utilise state-of-the-art structural biology techniques, including X-ray crystallography and cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM), which allows us to observe […]

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Thinking outside the box: Novel strategies to treat viral infections and cancers

This project is suitable for Master or PhD Students. The control of viral infections and cancers is reliant on a functioning and organised immune system. However, uncontrolled virus replication and cancer growth result in immune dysfunction and lead to disease progression. This project aims to identify new targets, which have the potential to activate or […]

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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. BACKGROUND 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 […]

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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 to […]

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