The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Effector mechanisms of memory CD8 T cells and their control of malaria

Heath Group

Memory CD8+ T cells are critical for eliminating malaria parasites in the liver, but it is currently unclear which memory T cell subset/s are required for protection, nor the mechanisms by which they achieve this. In this project you will use various transgenic mouse models, depletion strategies and advanced flow cytometry to investigate the contribution of effector and resident memory T cell subsets in protection from malaria. As memory CD8 T cells are equipped with an arsenal of cytolytic and non-cytolytic tools to kill infected hepatocytes, the contribution of these pathways in protection from malaria will be assessed using knockout mice deficient in one or more of these pathways. This new information will be critical for the development of malaria vaccines.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Lauren Holz

Project Co-supervisor

Professor William Heath

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Heath Group

3 vacancies

Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Heath group is interested in the immune response to pathogens, particularly to malaria, which is still a major cause of mortality worldwide. We study T cell responses with the aim of improving vaccine strategies and focus on T cell responses in the skin, the liver and lymphoid organs including the spleen. Our lab recently discovered a population of resident memory T cells within the liver that are capable of protecting against malaria infection. These and other cells are currently being studied.