The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Immuno-paralysis following severe infections or trauma

Villadangos Group

Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) is a common condition associated with severe infections and trauma. It is characterised by inflammation followed by a period of immunosuppression that can last for several weeks. The immunosuppressed patients are at risk of suffering secondary or opportunistic infections, a major cause of death in intensive care units. Impairment of dendritic cells (DC), the primary initiators of T cell immunity, plays a prominent role in this immunosuppression post-SIRS. In this project we will use models of infection and trauma to characterise the mechanisms that cause DC paralysis and to develop therapies to prevent immunosuppression.

Further reading: NS Wilson et al (2006), Nat. Immunol. 7: 165-172; LJ Young et al (2007), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 17753-17758; A. Roquilly et al (2017), Immunity 47:135-147; J Vega-Ramos et al, Curr. Opin. Pharmacol. 17: 64-70. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Jose Villadangos

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Villadangos Group

10 vacancies

Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Clinical and health systems research

The Villadangos group studies the first event that triggers adaptive immune responses: the presentation of pathogen or tumour antigens to T cells by dendritic cells, B cells and macrophages. We are characterising the development, regulation and impairment of antigen presenting cells by pathogens, inflammatory mediators and tumours. We are also dissecting the biochemical machinery involved in antigen capture, processing and presentation. We use this knowledge to understand how T cell-dependent immunity is initiated and maintained, and apply it to design better vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious agents and cancer.