Daniel Fernández-Ruiz is an immunologist specialised in T cell biology and immunity to malaria. He received bachelor’s degrees in Biology and biochemistry from the University of Oviedo, Spain, and obtained his PhD from the University of Bonn, Germany, in 2008. He then joined Bill Heath’s lab at the University of Melbourne to study CD4 and CD8 T cell-based immunity to malaria. The focus of his research is to understand the mechanisms that govern the generation and maintenance of T cell memory, and to use this knowledge for the design of novel T cell-based vaccines.
Daniel Fernández-Ruiz identified liver-resident memory CD8 T cells as efficient mediators of immunity against malaria. He pioneered the study of these cells and delineated the elements that promote their formation, also defining novel T cell antigens within liver and blood stage malaria parasites. On the basis of these discoveries, he developed novel experimental vaccines that can harness the remarkable protective potential of tissue-resident memory T cells against malaria. Daniel also generated malaria parasite-specific T cell receptor-transgenic mouse lines (PbT-I, PbT-II) that facilitate fundamental T cell function studies in the context of infection and vaccination. His work has been supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC), and the CASS foundation.
Full University of Melbourne profile