The main focus of our research is to elucidate the cellular signals that regulate the ability of our immune system to control diseases such as cancer and inflammatory diseases. 

We have made important contributions to immunology research including the interaction of immune cells with the infectious- or tumour-derived immunosuppressive microenvironment and identification of factors that regulate immunity responses. 

Our goal is to identify new regulatory elements that prevent the immune system, particularly natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, from controlling disease progression. Our work spans the broad areas of cell signalling, immunotherapy, and inflammation, among others. 

We envision awakening the cure inside us, aiming to discover how to activate and maximise immunological responses, using the patient’s own immune system. 

Thanks to our funding, our most recent achievements elucidated the relative contribution of different immunosuppressive factors in regulating NK cell function (among other immune cell subsets) during homeostasis and disease. 

Guimaraes Group

  • Dr Fernando Fonseca Guimaraes

    Senior Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
    Affiliate Senior Research Fellow
    School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Dr Ilan Mears

    Dr Ilan Mears

    Laboratory Manager
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Michael Lin

    Dr Michael Lin

    Research Assistant
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Tim McCulloch

    Mr Tim McCulloch

    PhD student
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Gustavo Rodrigues Rossi

    Dr Gustavo Rodrigues Rossi

    Research Officer
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Dr Natacha Omer

    Dr Natacha Omer

    PhD student
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Joshua Wong

    Mr Joshua Wong

    PhD student & Casual Research Assistant
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Dr Camilla Xi

    Honorary Fellow & Senior Research Technician
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
  • Bronte Reugg

    Ms Bronte Reugg

    Honours student
    The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Our projects use a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together contemporary techniques in cancer biology, cellular and molecular biology, pharmacology, proteomics and immunology/immunotherapy. We use cutting edge models to: mimic disease, validate our discoveries, elucidate mechanisms of action and tailor novel therapeutic approaches. Our research elucidates the cellular signalling and mechanisms regulating innate lymphocytes, and seeks to use this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic interventions for different diseases 

Our current research projects aim to: 

  • Use computational and system biology to identify new regulatory elements in cellular signalling of immune cells 
  • Identify and understand novel immune checkpoints 
  • Tailor immunotherapies to modulate immune responses in cancer and inflammatory diseases. 
  • Development of personalized engineered immunocellular therapies 

Student projects 

We have research interests in, but are not restricted to: 

  • Systems biology to identify new regulatory elements in cellular signalling of immune cells 
  • Identifying and understanding novel immune checkpoints 
  • Tailoring immunotherapies to modulate immune responses in cancer and inflammatory diseases 
  • Development of novel pre-clinical models to mimic and study novel therapeutic targets for human disease 

We have collaborated with various academic research groups, clinicians, and industry partners within our large collaborative network in Australia and overseas on a variety of basic or translational research projects. We have received funding from Cure Cancer Australia (who awarded Dr. Guimaraes as the 2019 Researcher of the Year), Innovation Connections, NBCF, NHMRC, and WEWC. 

Funding 

We have proudly received funding from: 

  • Australian and New Zealand Sarcoma Association 
  • Brazil CAPES/PrInt Program 
  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (USA) 
  • National Health and Medical Research Council 
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation 
  • Innovation Connections 
  • Cancer Australia 
  • Therapeutic Innovation Australia 

Collaborators 

We have collaborations and support of scientist from the follow institutions: 

A*STAR (Singapore), CIML (France), CRCL (France), Keio University (Japan), Institute Pasteur (France), Mater Research (Australia), MSKCC (USA), Monash University (Australia), ONJCC (Australia), Royal Melbourne Hospital (Australia), Shanghai Institute of Immunology (China) Thomas Jefferson University (USA),VCCC (Australia), WEHI (Australia), UFPR (Brazil), Unicamp (Brazil), University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), University of Melbourne (Australia).