Our People

Rajiv Khanna

Professor | Senior Scientist | Deputy Coordinator of Immunology Department

Tumour Immunology

+61 7 3362 0385




Professor Rajiv Khanna obtained his doctorate degree from India and undertook his post-doctoral training at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). He is the Coordinator of QIMR Berghofer Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development. He holds Senior Principal Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and was also appointed as Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland and Griffith University, Brisbane. Professor Khanna is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.



2017-current: Senior Scientist, Tumour Immunology Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer

2012-current: Coordinator of the Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development, QIMR Berghofer

2011-current: Senior Principal Research Fellow, NHMRC



2006-2010: NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

2001-2005: NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

1997-2000: NHMRC R. Douglas Wright Fellow, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

1996: Senior Research Officer, Queensland Institute of Medical Research                

1995-1996: Research Officer,Queensland Institute of Medical Research

1993-1994: UQ Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Queensland

1990-1993: Research Officer, Queensland Institute of Medical Research









The primary focus of my research group has been human immune regulation. The major goals of our laboratory are to obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which the human immune response to viral infections and human cancers may be generated, augmented and applied to the treatment of these diseases.

We have used Epstein-Barr virus-associated diseases as a model to understand how cellular immune response in humans responds to persistent viral infections. Over the last 15 years, we have successfully translated our laboratory research towards the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of virus-associated cancers.

Our group has successfully completed multiple clinical trials and is currently involved in three new clinical trials which involves adoptive transfer of autologous virus-specific T cells in patients with different clinical indications (e.g. nasopharyngeal carcinoma, glioblastoma and post-transplant infectious complications). We also have a highly successful research program to develop T cell based therapeutic and prophylactic strategies for human cytomegalovirus (CMV)-associated diseases.



  • successfully completed ‘first in man’ Phase I clinical trials on adoptive immunotherapy for recurrent and primary glioblastoma (GBM) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) – PMID: 22282657; PMID: 28344888; PMID: 22282657; PMID: 22282657
  • successfully completed Phase I clinical trial on adoptive immunotherapy for drug-resistant CMV infection in solid organ transplant patients (funded by NHMRC) – PMID: 22282657; PMID: 22282657
  • developed a novel T cell therapy for progressive multiple sclerosis – PMID: 22282657
  • awarded international patents which have been licensed to national and international pharma/biotech companies
  • commercial launch of a QuantiFERON-CMV immune monitoring kit developed with our IP
  • major advance in CMV vaccine program with funding through NHMRC Development grant
  • attracted more than $8.15 m in research funding from various national and international funding agencies in last five years
  • selected as Queensland’s top 50 ‘Best and Brightest’ November 2014
  • elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS)


  • Queensland branch of Australia India Business Council (Executive member 2015-2017)
  • Australasian Society for Immunology (Queensland State Councillor 1995 to 1997)
  • International Epstein-Barr virus Association
  • American Association for Immunologist (AAI)
  • American Association for Microbiology (ASM)
  • European Society for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy (ESCII)
  • Jenner Society




  • Professional of the Year, India Australia Business Community Awards


  • Appointed Officer of the Order of Australian for distinguished services to medicine in the field of immunology


  • Elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS)


  • Beckman Postdoctoral Prize (QIMR Berghofer)


  • University of Queensland Post-Doctoral Research fellowship


  • Open Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India


  • Certificate of Merit from Panjab University, India
  • University Student Council Medal for academic performance
  • University Medal for academic performance during postgraduate studies



1990: PhD Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India

1984: MSc Panjab University, India

1982: BSc (Medical) Panjab University, India