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21 Aug 2018

Doherty Institute immunologist awarded Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Doherty Institute immunologist, Dr Linda Wakim has been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, worth more than $800,000, for her research that aims to determine the role of exosomes in innate immunity.   

Dr Wakim’s grant was one of a 100 totalling $84.7 million, which the Australian Government allocated to meet critical research challenges.

Exosomes are tiny vesicles that have an important biological function in intercellular communication by transferring biologically active proteins, lipids and RNAs to neighbouring or distant cells.

“We already know that exosomes are key players in an immune response, but a full understanding of their biological relevance, particularly during a viral infection, and how they serve as a cellular defence mechanism is lacking,” Dr Wakim explained.

This funding will help Dr Wakim put together a team of virologists, proteomic experts and molecular biologists across a number of research organisations, and allow the use of cutting-edge technological platforms to unveil insights into this poorly understood component of the immune response.