The main focus of our research is understanding immune tolerance and how this can be harnessed to prevent or reverse detrimental immune responses in diseases like type 1 diabetes and allergies. We also study how tumours impact immune function and how this can be modulated to help prevent tumour growth.

We have made important contributions to understanding how established detrimental immune responses can be turned off that have significant implications for how autoimmunity and allergies in the future.  Our goal is to advance our gene therapy approach to immunotherapy towards clinical application.  

Our current research projects are focussed around gene therapy approaches to immunotherapy using genetically-engineered hematopoietic stem cells.  We are using advanced models employing human cells that allow us to investigate whether immune responses that underlie type 1 diabetes in humans can be turned off.

We are exploring protocols for safe and simple gene transfer that facilitate translation of gene therapy for immunotherapy to patients.

We also are investigating novel immunthepaeutics to bolster immune responses against tumours.

Student projects

  • Cellular and molecular pathways of T-cell tolerance
  • Prevention and reversal of autoimmune diabetes
  • Novel methods of gene delivery for tolerance
  • Immunotherapy of allergies and anaphylaxis


We have received funding from:

  • National Health & Medical Research Council - Engineering human dendritic cells for tolerogenic gene therapy of type 1 diabetes. 
  • National Health and Medical Research Council - Deciphering how TCR affinity regulates CD4 T cell help in immunity and autoimmunity.
  • Ovarian Cancer Research Council Re-activating anti-tumour immunity by targeting N-MYC-Let7 axis in ovarian cancer.
  • Tour de Cure - A new checkpoint molecule.


We collaborate with Mater Research Institute-UQ on the study of immune responses in humanized mice. We collaborate with The Centenary Institute on studies of immune tolerance and QIMRB on anti-tumour immunity. We have established collaborations widely across UQ.