The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

EDUCATION

Research Projects

Project: Investigating the role of functional antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Kent group

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infects approximately one third of the world’s population and is currently one of the major causes of morbidity and death worldwide. The role of antibodies in Mtb is underexplored, although rare studies suggest that antibodies may contribute to Mtb control. Preliminary studies by our lab suggest that patients that can control Mtb (latently infected) have improved functional antibody responses compared to symptomatic (active) Mtb patients. Therefore, we are interested in characterising the antibodies from patients with different clinical Mtb disease outcomes in order to further understand the importance of these potentially protective antibodies.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Stephen Kent

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Amy Chung

Project availability
PhD/MPhil
Master of Biomedical Science
Honours

Kent group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Themes
Immunology
Cross Cutting Disciplines

Research Projects 2019 | 25 The Kent group has an interest in understanding how the immune response can be harnessed in the control of infectious pathogens including HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and influenza. This includes understanding non-conventional T cells and how they are impacted by HIV infection despite the fact that they are not target cells for HIV replication. We use animal models to investigate ways to manipulate these cells and to understand how they are regulated during viral infection. We also examine how antibodies can instruct the innate immune system to attack invading pathogens through their Fc regions. Our research aims to understand the mechanisms behind these antibodies in order to guide the development of more effective antibody therapeutics and vaccines.