The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: MR1 – a molecular alarm system for intracellular bacterial infection

Villadangos Group

MR1 is a molecular alarm to alert the immune system during bacterial infection. It captures metabolite by-products from bacteria and presents them to a highly abundant T cell subset, called mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. The MR1-MAIT cell system is a highly conserved piece of the immune repertoire to detect important bacterial pathogens, yet basic aspects are not understood, such as which cells express MR1 in vivo. This project will use a novel MR1-reporter mouse model to discover which cells are armed with MR1 during various disease settings, and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to understand how MR1 works in these cells.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Hamish McWilliam

Project Co-supervisor

Professor Jose Villadangos

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Villadangos Group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Translational and Clinical Research

The Villadangos group studies the first event that triggers adaptive immune responses: the presentation of pathogen or tumour antigens to T cells by dendritic cells, B cells and macrophages. We are characterising the development, regulation and impairment of antigen presenting cells by pathogens, inflammatory mediators and tumours. We are also dissecting the biochemical machinery involved in antigen capture, processing and presentation. We use this knowledge to understand how T cell-dependent immunity is initiated and maintained, and apply it to design better vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious agents and cancer.

Villadangos Group Current Projects