The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

Associate Professor Alexandra Corbett

Associate Professor Alexandra Corbett

Associate Professor Alexandra Corbett

(03) 8344 9914 | corbetta@unimelb.edu.au

Position:
Laboratory Head, NHMRC Investigator Fellow, Dame Kate Campbell Fellow
Theme(s):
Immunology, Host Pathogens Interactions
Discipline(s):
Discovery Research, Clinical and health systems research
Unit(s):
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
Corbett Group, McCluskey Group

Associate Professor Alexandra Corbett completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) at the University of Melbourne (1998) and PhD at the WEHI (2004). Following two post-doctoral positions at the Lions Eye Institute, UWA (supported by a WA & MG Saw Research Fellowship) and at the Bio21 Institute, she joined Professor Jim McCluskey’s Laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 2012, and now leads her own group. Her research has spanned areas of immunology including T cell biology, vaccine platform technologies, autoimmunity, viral immunology and immune evasion. Alex’s current focus is the biology and immune role of mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells.

  • Key Achievements
    • Alex has made key discoveries in the field of mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, an innate-like population of T cells restricted by the non-polymorphic MHC class I-related protein (MR1). With colleagues at the Universities of Melbourne, Monash and Queensland, she discovered that MAIT cells recognise a new class of antigen; vitamin metabolites made by bacteria and fungi (Nature 2012, 2014), and developed MR1-tetramer reagents to specifically identify MAIT cells in humans and mice. Her NHMRC- and ARC-funded research program seeks to understand what drives MAIT cell protective or pathogenic functions during infection and inflammatory disease, with the ultimate goal of targeting MAIT cells in vaccine or therapeutic strategies. Alex has authored over 60 research articles and reviews. She is a member of ASI and VIIN and has served on the Society for Mucosal Immunology Board of Councillors since 2019.

    Publications
    Loading ORCID data…
    Research Groups
    • Corbett Group

      Our team study mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. We seek to understand how vitamin-based antigens are produced by microorganisms, how MAIT cells detect these antigens and how we can manipulate MAIT cell functions to improve outcomes in infectious and non-infectious diseases.


      Lab Team

      • Dr Timothy Patton
        Research Officer
      • Xin Yi Lim
        Research Assistant
      • Dr Jeremy Rajanayagam
        PhD Graduate Researcher
      • Dr Freya Harewood
        PhD Graduate Researcher
      • Eleanor Eddy
        PhD Graduate Researcher
      • May Pongvattanaporn
        Masters Student
    • McCluskey Group

      MAIT cells respond to precursors of riboflavin, allowing the immune system to detect microbial invaders. The McCluskey group aims to understand their role in infection/inflammatory conditions and is tackling this question using mouse models, human tissue analysis and structural biology.

      If you are interested to collaborate with us, please, feel free to get in touch. Please note that the human and mouse MR1 tetramers developed in our laboratory can now be ordered through the NIH tetramer core facility.


      Lab Team

      McCluskey Group

      • Associate Professor Alexandra Corbett
      • Senior Research Officer
      • Group Leader, MAIT Cell Program; NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow
      • Bronwyn Meehan
        Lab Manager
      • Dr Michael Souter
        Research Officer
      • Troi Pediongco
        Research Assistant
      • Freya Harewood
        PhD Student
      • Dr Huimeng Wang
        Research Officer
      • Xin Yi Lim
        Research Assistant
      • Lucy Meehan
        Research Assistant
      • Adam Nelson
        Research Assistant
      • Songyi Li
        Masters Student
      • Yilu Huang
        Masters Student

Full University of Melbourne profile