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, ARC Future Fellow, Dame Kate Campbell Fellow
Theme(s):
Immunology, Host Pathogens Interactions
Discipline(s):
Discovery Research, Translational and Clinical Research
Unit(s):
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
McCluskey Group, Corbett 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
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    Research Groups
    • 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

      • Laboratory Head, NHMRC Investigator Fellow, ARC Future Fellow, Dame Kate Campbell Fellow
      • Senior Research Officer
      • Trust postdoctoral fellow
      • Group Leader, MAIT Cell Program; NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow
      • Criselle D'souza
        PhD Student
      • Lyudmila Kostenko
        Research Assistant
      • Bronwyn Meehan
        Research Assistant
      • Michael Souter
        Honours Student
      • Lars Kjer-Nielsen
        Research Officer
      • Bonnie van Wilgenburg
        Visiting Research Officer
      • Troi Pediongco
        Research Assistant
      • Freya Harewood
        PhD Student
      • Huimeng Wang
        PhD Student
      • Michael Souter
        PhD Student
      • Shihan (Tony) Li
        PhD Student
      • Xin Yi Lim
        Honours Student
      • Mai Shi
        Masters Student
      • Robyn Esterbauer
        Honours Student
    • Corbett Group

      Alex co-supervises PhD students Criselle D’Souza, Huimeng Wang and Freya Harewood, and works with other members of the McCluskey lab on various aspects of MAIT biology. Alex has established key collaborations with a number of clinicians and other researchers to analyse MAIT cells in human disease.


      Lab Team

      • Criselle D’Souza
        PhD students
      • Huimeng Wang
        PhD students
      • Freya Harewood
        PhD students

Full University of Melbourne profile