Dr Tobias Bald is an international Fellow and Team Head in the Department of Immunology at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He obtained his MSc and PhD in Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Bonn where he received training in tumour immunology and tumour biology. In the last years Dr Bald focused on the balance between anti-tumour immunity and pro-tumorigenic inflammatory responses using genetically engineered mouse models which portray the clinical situation of melanoma patients.
Recently, Dr Bald could show that targeted activation of the type I IFN system with immunostimulatory RNA in combination with blockade of immune inhibitory receptors serve as a rational strategy to expose immune cell-poor melanomas to cellular immune surveillance. Furthermore, Dr Bald established and characterized novel genetically engineered mouse melanoma model systems to experimentally investigate the interaction between innate immune, endothelial and melanoma cells. Currently, Dr Bald is studying the immunosuppressive role of innate immune cells during tumour development and immunotherapy.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- 2018 – current: Team Head, Oncology and Cellular Immunology Laboratory
- 2016 – current: NHMRC Early Career Fellow
- 2016 – 2018: EMBO Long-term Fellow, QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane, Australia
- 2015 – 2016: Research Fellow, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Magdeburg, Germany
- 2010 – 2014: PhD Student, Department of Dermatology & Allergy, University Hospital, Bonn, Germany
- 2009 – 2010: Research Assistant, Department of Dermatology & Allergy, University Hospital Bonn, Germany
Current Area of Research
The Oncology and Cellular Immunology Laboratory aims to understand the complex interplay between immune, endothelial and cancer cells locally in the tumour and systemically in metastatic sites to develop novel cancer immunotherapeutic strategies.
An important feature of immune and cancer cells is that they can quickly adapt to different contexts, which allows them to change their phenotype and to cope with stress full environments. This process is called phenotypic plasticity and incompletely understood. Innate immune cells can exert anti-tumour functions but have also been shown to promote the development, growth and metastasis of cancer cells. Which factors contribute to phenotypic plasticity and how we can therapeutically interfere with this process is currently studied by our team.
We are also currently investigating the interaction between innate lymphoid cells and myeloid immune cells using state of the art genetically engineered mouse models, transcriptomics, multi-colour flow cytometry and advanced imaging technologies.
- 2016 – current: Australasian Society of Immunology
- 2016 – current: Queensland Melanoma Collaborative
- 2017: NH&MRC Early Career Fellowship
- 2016: EMBO long-term Fellowship
- 2015: Egon-Macher Award of the ADF
- 2015: Best Publication in 2014 in the Bonner Forum Biomedicine
- 2014: Travel award of the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR)
- 2014: Fluer Hiege Memorial award
- 2014: Invitation to the ADF Winterschool
- 2015: PhD in Tumour Immunology, University Bonn, Germany
- 2010: MSc in Molecular Biomedicine, University Bonn, Germany