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 surveillance in natural killer cells

Barrow group

Many tumours secrete Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-D to promote tumour growth. NK cells have evolved the activating ITAM receptor NKp44 to sense the expression of PDGF-D and trigger the secretion of cytokines that halt tumour growth. An alternatively spliced NKp44 isoform encodes an ‘ITIM’ that is predicted to be inhibitory and is associated with poor survival in cancer. Tumours may induce this inhibitory NKp44 form to dampen NK cell function as a form of immune evasion. The Barrow group is determining the functions of the different NKp44 isoforms and how they impact NK cell surveillance of cancers expressing PDGF-D.

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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