Dr Kate Keech is the Scientific Operations Manager for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. In this role, Kate provides strategic and operational support for the academic teaching, research and technical service activities of the Department. Kate has had a long association with the Department. Having obtained her BSc (Hons) in the Department she went on to completed her PhD with Professor James McCluskey at Flinders University of South Australia. She returned to the University of Melbourne and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 1997 as a Research Fellow in James’ lab where she continued her work on autoimmunity and coeliac disease before taking up increasing managerial responsibilities from 2011.
Kate’s key scientific career achievements follow on from her interest in autoimmunity and tolerance, and include the development and commercialisation of an improved diagnostic test for anti-nuclear autoantibodies in lupus. With other members of the McCluskey laboratory, she made a significant contribution to the development of a transgenic mouse model of coeliac disease. Her work in that model supported the pre-clinical assessment of an immunotherapy for coeliac disease that is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials. Kate was a key member of the team involved in planning the Doherty Institute, and counts successfully moving 350 scientists in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology to their new home as one of her career highlights.
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