Primary research interest

Immunotherapy of non-melanoma skin cancers

Additional roles

Senior Lecturer and Senior Research fellow at SCMB and UQDI

About me 

I completed a Bachelor of Science with honours at the University of Queensland in 1989 before undertaking  Ph.D. studies on the immune response against parasitic worms (hydatid disease) at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).  After receiving my doctorate from UQ in 1993, I headed to the NIH (USA) in Washington D.C. for a 4 year postdoctoral fellowship in T cell immunity to the HIV virus.  Finally, I returned to Brisbane in 1997 to commence work on immune responses to cancer antigens expressed in the epithelium (including skin) with Prof. Ian Frazer.  I am currently a senior lecturer with a joint appointment between SCMB and the UQ Diamantina Institute (Princess Alexandra Hospital).

Research focus and collaborations

The lab has a long term research focus on understanding the generation and regulation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in response to epithelial tumour.  We particularly focus on the local T cell response to target antigens in the skin during the development of squamous cell carcinoma or cervical cancer.  An understanding of the immune cells which regulate CTL function (e.g. Treg and NKT), the receptors which control CTL trafficking to the skin and the nature of the skin cells which present antigen to the T cell will aid in the development of immunotherapies for these debilitating diseases.

Funded projects

  • 2014-2015: Cancer Council Queensland grant, Memory CD8 T cell subsets in non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • 2017-2018: Cancer Council Queensland grant,  Local targeting of immunomodulatory molecules on CD8 T cells in non-melanoma skin cancer.

Teaching interests

  • BIOL3003: Course coordinator
  • MICR7002: Course Cooordinator
  • Contribute lectures to: BIOL1007, BIOM2011, Medicine

Featured publications