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Dr Hamish McWilliam

Dr Hamish McWilliam

(03) 9035 7727 |

Group Leader, Senior Research Fellow
Immunology, Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Discovery Research
The University of Melbourne, Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
Villadangos Group

Hamish McWilliam is a group leader in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, based in the laboratory of Professor Jose Villadangos. His research investigates how the immune system is alerted to bacterial infections by their metabolite by-products, mediated by the antigen-presenting molecule MR1.

He uses cell biology, biochemistry and immunology techniques to understand this process that activates one of the most abundant T cell populations in humans (MAIT cells).

  • Key Achievements
    • Hamish has unravelled the cellular trafficking pathway of MR1 antigen presentation through publicaitons in leading journals (Nature Immunology, PNAS and the Journal of Cell biology). This is enabling a deeper understanding of the molecular basis for how our immune system communicates with microbes; both commensal and pathogenic. Ultimately this is anticipated to provide new ways to improve human health.

      He has gained several competitive grants and awards to support this work including an NHMRC Ideas grant, an ARC DECRA fellowship, a VESKI Victoria Fellowship, the Fabienne Mackay Award and an AMP Tomorrow Maker award.

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    Research Groups
    • Villadangos Group

      Jose’s group combines immunology, biochemistry and cell biology to study how the adaptive immune system detects pathogens and cancer, a process called Antigen Presentation. Their research is applicable to vaccine development, treatment of critically ill patients and the fight against cancer.

      Lab Team

      Villadangos Group

      • Alan Ching
      • Lauren Cox
      • Jesse Crowe
        Honours Student
      • Claire Dumont
      • Giuseppe Infusini
      • Haiyin Liu
      • Hamish McWilliam
        Research Officer
      • Justine Mintern
      • Zehua Tian
        PhD Student
      • Shirin Valikhani
      • Vivian Vuong
      • Matthew Zorkau

Full University of Melbourne profile