Federation University Australia
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My research centres on investigating communication between cells of the immune system. Immune cells communicate through direct cell contact and via the secretion of soluble cytokines and chemokines. The delivery of these messages between cells is vital for mounting effective immune responses to defeat pathogens and for the regulation of immune responses, returning the body to homeostasis. Failures of immune regulation can lead to the development of inappropriate immune responses such as allergy or autoimmunity, or the suppression of beneficial immune functions. My current research explores communication and interactions between immune cells in the context of haematological malignancies. I am applying my expertise in viral immunity to this area because there are interesting parallels between the way that the immune system detects and fights viruses and how it sees cancer, and I hypothesise that this can provide valuable insights into promoting more effective immune responses against cancer cells.
The immune system is a complex and often intimidating subject of study. In my teaching I strive to help students learn how the immune system works through real-world scenario based teaching that encourages them to apply their theoretical knowledge to build a strong understanding of immune function in health and disease.