The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Molecular basis for growth factor immune-surveillance in plasmacytoid dendritic cells

Barrow group

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are rare cells that secrete large quantities of type-I interferon (IFN-I) in response to viral infections. Some viruses encode growth factors (GFs) to induce proliferative lesions that are required for host infectivity. We have found that some GFs can enhance IFN-I production by pDCs. These results suggest that GFs can synergise with toll-like receptors (TLRs) to enhance IFN-I secretion by pDCs. The Barrow group is interested in identifying how the GF and TLR signalling pathways intersect to enhance IFN-I secretion by pDCs to evoke effective anti-viral immunity

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Alexander David Barrow

Project Co-supervisor

Professor Andrew Brooks

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Barrow group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Host Pathogens Interactions
Viral Infectious Diseases
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Barrow group is interested in a new avenue of immunological research termed growth factor surveillance. Growth factors (GFs) are over-expressed by tumours to promote angiogenesis, stromal reaction and tumour growth. Moreover, many viruses encode GFs that are required for viral infectivity in vivo. The goal of our lab is to understand how GF surveillance receptors control immune responses to tumours and pathogens with the ultimate aim of identifying critical nodes in these pathways that can be exploited for cancer immunotherapy and vaccine development. 

Barrow group Current Projects