Salim Khakoo, Professor of Hepatology

Professor Khakoo’s research is based upon understanding how natural killer cells recognize cancer, especially hepatocellular carcinoma.  He is currently working on novel strategies to activate natural killer cells for cancer immunotherapy. https://futureworlds.com/discover-vaxinc/

Recent paper: Naiyer MM, Cassidy SA, Magri A, Cowton V, Chen K, Mansour S, Kranidioti H, Mbirbindi B, Rettman P, Harris S, Fanning LJ, Mulder A, Claas FHJ, Davidson AD, Patel AH, Purbhoo MA, Khakoo SI. KIR2DS2 recognizes conserved peptides derived from viral helicases in the context of HLA-C. Sci Immunol. 2017;2(15).

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Centre for Cancer Immunology

Dr Salah Mansour, Principal Research Fellow (Associate Professor)

Dr Mansour’s laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying antigen presentation to unconventional T-cells. In particular, we study the roles of CD1 proteins and lipid antigens in T-cell responses to tuberculosis, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

Recent papers: Melandri D, Zlatareva I, Chaleil R, Dart R, Chancellor A, Roberts N, Wesch D, Kabelitz D, Irving P, John S, Mansour S, Bates P, Vantourout P, Hayday A. The γδTCR combines innate immunity with adaptive immunity by utilizing spatially distinct regions for agonist selection and antigen responsiveness. Nat Immunol. 2018 Dec;19(12):1352-1365. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0253-5.

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Centre for Cancer Immunology

Hannah Siddle, Associate Professor of Molecular Immunology

Dr Siddle’s research group investigates contagious cancers that can pass between individuals in a population. We are determining how these cancer cells evade the immune response and how to develop effective vaccines to stop their spread.

Recent paper: Caldwell, A., Coleby, R., Tovar, C., Stammnitz, M. R., Mi Kwon, Y., Owen, R. S., … Siddle, H. V. T. (2018). The newly-arisen devil facial tumour disease 2 (DFT2) reveals a mechanism for the emergence of a contagious cancer. eLife, 7, 1-18. [e35314]. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.35314

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Centre for Cancer Immunology

Francesco Forconi, Professor of Haematology

Professor Forconi aims to understand the immunological mechanisms by which B cells become cancer and how to target their early oncogenic events by novel therapeutic approaches in patients. Currently, his team is generating novel strategies to interrupt the interactions of the tumour B-cell receptor of germinal centre-derived lymphomas with their ligands from the innate immunity, and working on the early detection and therapeutic intervention of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Recent paper: Ibrutinib Therapy Releases Leukemic Surface IgM from Antigen Drive in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients. Drennan S, Chiodin G, D’Avola A, Tracy I, Johnson PW, Trentin L, Steele AJ, Packham G, Stevenson FK, Forconi F. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 15;25(8):2503-2512. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1286.

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Centre for Cancer Immunology

Jonathan Strefford, Professor of Cancer Genomics

Professor Strefford’s research focuses on characterization of the genetic locus that harbours the low-affinity Fc-gamma receptor genes, that encode proteins that are important in the effective control of inflammation, response to infection and the efficacy of monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of cancer. These proteins are encoded by a 200Kb gene cluster at 1p24, that is highly repetitive and difficult to study with traditional technologies. We are currently utilizing long-read sequencing next generation sequencing technologies to generate detailed sequencing maps of this locus in normal and malignant immune cells. These experiments will ultimately provide important insights into how these genes are regulated, that will allow us to improve the way we manage and treat cancer patients.

Recent paper: Rendeiro AF*, Schmidl C*, Strefford JC*, Walewska R, Davis Z, Farlik M, Oscier D, Bock C (2016) Chromatin accessibility maps of chronic lymphocytic leukemia indentify sub-types-specific epigenome signatures and associated transcription regulatory networks. Nature Communications Jun 27;7:11938. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11938

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Centre for Cancer Immunology

Dr Paul Skipp, Director of the Centre for Proteomic Research

Dr Skipp’s research focuses on using proteomics and other ‘omic technologies to address a range of complex biological problems. Research questions span across the areas of respiratory, allergy, infection and cancer, applying proteomics and developing Precision Medicine based approaches to generate a better understanding for the diagnosis, stratification and treatment of disease. More recent focus is on using immunopeptidomics to identify neopeptides as candidates for cancer vaccine development.

Recent paper: Schofield, J. P. R., Burg, D., Nicholas, B., Strazzeri, F., Brandsma, J., Staykova, D., … Djukanović, R. (2019). Stratification of asthma phenotypes by airway proteomic signatures: Sputum proteomic signatures in asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.03.013, 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.03.013

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Centre for Cancer Immunology