Simone Park is a NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Simone graduated with a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne in 2014. Simone obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2019 with Associate Professor Thomas Gebhardt and Associate Professor Laura Mackay, researching local immune responses against cancer and infection. Simone is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working in the laboratory of Professor Laura Mackay, investigating the development and function of tissue-resident memory T cells in cancer, infection and autoimmunity.
Simone’s research has uncovered critical roles for tissue-resident memory T cells in protecting against melanoma and viral infections, resulting in high impact first-author publications in leading journals such as Nature and Nature Immunology. Simone is a recipient of several research achievement awards including the Centenary Institute Medical Innovation Award (In Memory of Neil Lawrence Prize, 2019), Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Picchi Award for Excellence in Cancer Research (2018), the QIAGEN PhD Achievement Award (2018) and the Morgan Mansell Young Melanoma Researcher of the Year Award (2019). She presents frequently at both local and international meetings where she has received numerous presentation and travel awards from national and international organisations. Since graduating with her PhD in 2019, Simone has been awarded multiple competitive fellowships and grants to continue her work into using tissue-resident memory T cells for immunotherapy, including a Cancer Council Victoria Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019), an Emerging Leadership Investigator Grant (from 2020), and project grants from Cancer Australia/Cure Cancer Australia (2020) and The University of Melbourne (2020). Simone is the current Secretary of the University of Melbourne MDHS Early Career Researcher Network and serves on several committees including the Melbourne Immunotherapy Network and Day of Immunology.