Our team examines the fundamental principles through which the immune system recognises and destroys tumours, with the aim of developing new treatments for patients with cancer. We work closely with cell biologists, immunologists, the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative, and clinicians to translate our basic findings for patient benefit.


  • Shoaib Anwaa (PhD student)
  • Wei Yang Kong (PhD student)
  • Xiaoyu Hou (PhD student)
  • Sarah Jahfali (PhD student)
  • Timothy Liu (MD Mphil student)

Our current research projects focus on:

  1. The development of drugs to prevent skin cancer formation in organ transplant patients
  2. The immune mechanisms that potentiate squamous cell carcinoma prevention and regression
  3. Novel immune mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of CD8 T cells in skin and skin cancers

Please contact us if you are interested in any of our current research projects.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to skin cancer immunotherapy research, please contact med.advancement@uq.edu.au. Thank you for your support.

We are very grateful to the following current funding sources:

(2021–2023) NHMRC Development Grant

(2020–2025) Kyon Biotech AG

(2020–2022) ARC Discovery Projects

(2019–2025) Merchant Charitable Foundation

  • Development of a novel drug to prevent skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients

(2019) PA Research Foundation

  • Development of a human skin model to assess topical pharmaceutical and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) toxicity and effects (SCCA grant led by QUT)

(2018–2020) Queensland University of Technology and Skin Cancer College Australasia


We collaborate with Dr Andrew Brooks, Dr Jazmina Cruz, the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative, Vaxxas Pty Ltd, and Professors Ian Frazer, Peter Soyer, Brian Gabrielli, Nikolas Haass, Scott Byrne, Scott Campbell, Nigel McMillan, Rolf Lood and Istvan Toth.

Partner organisations/institutions/supporters

  • Metro South Health
  • Dermatology Research Centre
  • Queensland Head and Neck Cancer Centre
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Sydney
  • Lund University, Sweden
  • Mater Research Institute
  • Toormina Medical Centre
  • Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University
  • Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative
  • Vaxxas Pty Ltd
  • Princess Alexandra Research Foundation
  • Rotary International (Nundah)
  • Merchant Foundation
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • Kyon Biotech AG