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04 Mar 2016

$14.9 million Program Grant awarded to immunologists at the Doherty Institute

A team of immunologists at the Doherty Institute, led by the University of Melbourne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey, was the recipient of a $14.9 million Program Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), announced on Thursday.

Their project titled ‘Antigen presentation, recognition and the immune response’ has received funding from 2017-2021 and will use a multidisciplinary approach to define the function and molecular interactions of various cell types to broaden their understanding of the immune system and highlight new avenues for immune intervention.

In addition to Professor McCluskey, Chief Investigators from the Doherty Institute include University of Melbourne Professors Andrew Brooks, Francis Carbone, William Heath, Dale Godfrey and Jose Villadangos who are joined by Professor Jamie Rossjohn from Monash University.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Doherty Institute, said all Chief Investigators on the Grant were international leaders in the field of immunology.

“The award of an NHMRC Program Grant that includes six laboratory heads at the Doherty Institute is a testimony to the outstanding quality of our work in immunology,” Professor Lewin said.

“Their collaborative research program will have a major role in helping understand and harness the immune system to fight infectious diseases.

“Receiving such a large amount of funding is a huge achievement for the team and signifies the importance of their work to advance the field.”

In addition, Professors Stephen Kent and Damien Purcell were recipients of a $500,000 International Collaboration Grant to support Australia’s participation in the European AIDS Vaccine Initiative (EAVI2020) and Dr Matthew Pittman, a PhD student with Professor Lewin, received a $92,161 Postgraduate Scholarship for his work on HIV latency. 

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