The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: The importance of IgA in the protection and control of infectious diseases

Kent group

The human body produces more IgA than any other immunoglobulin, especially in mucosal secretions. However, the importance of IgA in both protection from HIV-1 and control of HIV-1 disease progression is highly controversial. Results from the only protective human HIV vaccine trial associated plasma IgA with reduced vaccine efficacy. In contrast, recent studies suggest that mucosal HIV-specific IgA may be protective. This project aims to further explore the mechanisms behind both the protective and immunomodulatory role of IgA in the control of HIV-1 and other infectious diseases.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Stephen Kent

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Amy Chung

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Kent group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

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.