Stromal cell niches that direct anti-viral immune responses
The lymphoid tissues (spleen and lymph nodes) are constructed of a complex microarchitecture that is supported by networks of endothelial and mesenchymal stromal cells. Our work has redefined understanding of the stromal cell architecture in the spleen and revealed dynamic responses by mesenchymal cells that are crucial to support adaptive immune responses. We are currently investigating how stromal cell niches direct early immune responses and support healthy immune cells during persisting infections in order to improve immunotherapy of chronic infections.
Designing new software approaches to dissect immune responses in vivo
We have developed a world-leading intravital 3-photon microscope to investigate how immune cells behave in vivo. The technique generates 4D time lapse data (3D in space, 1D in time), which enables us to visualise dense 3D tissue environments and the migratory behaviour of individual immune cells. We have also developed and patented a novel method that allows us to track individual immune cells in the eyes of living humans. However, quantitative analysis of immune cell dynamics and phenotypes is time consuming and limited by a lack of simple software options for complex, time-lapse images. We are developing novel software approaches to improve the analysis of immune cell behaviours, and their interactions with other cells and structures, in mouse and human tissues.
Scott is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow and a Dame Kate Campbell Fellow, in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and The University of Melbourne. He completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne with Frank Carbone, performed postdoctoral training in the USA at Emory University with Dr Rafi Ahmed and then at the National Institutes of Health with Dr Ronald Germain before starting his laboratory in 2010. Scott led the establishment of an advanced microscopy facility in the Doherty and procured and setup several multi-photon imaging systems, including Australia’s first 3-photon microscope.