Associate Investigators

Professor Rajiv Khanna

Professor Rajiv Khana leads the Tumour Immunology Laboratory at QIMR and is the director of the QIMR Berghofer Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development. He has developed innovative and successful research programs that are being applied to the treatment and/or prevention of human cancer, chronic infections and autoimmune conditions. He is an expert in EBV transformation of human PBMCs and is collaborating with Professors Vinuesa and Cook to establish cell lines from SLE and CVID affected individuals. DNA editing of these cell lines will prove that the mutated variants cause the cellular phenotypes observed in patients.

Professor Chris Goodnow

Professor Chris Goodnow has been a pioneer of large-scale mouse immunogenomics projects and has demonstrated how single nucleotide variants cause complex disease phenotypes in mice. He successfully established whole exome-sequencing of mutagenized mouse strains to identify single nucleotide variants and has been a long-time collaborator with Professors Vinuesa and Cook, including in the analysis of human exomes. He will provide expert advice on the latest DNA sequencing technologies.

Professor Ian Alexander

Professor Ian Alexander heads the gene therapy group at the CMRI in the Westmead Hub and has been involved in translating gene therapy into the clinic. Dr Alexander's specific expertise and interests include virus-mediated gene transfer with a focus on target organs including the liver and bone marrow. His team became the first in Australia to treat a genetic disease (SCID-X1) by gene therapy and are recognised leaders in the establishment of this exciting field in Australia. He will provide advice to the CPI on the potential for stem cell therapy for identified monogenic causes of disease.

Professor Russell Dale

Associate Professor Russell Dale is an NHMRC fellow and paediatric neurologist. His clinical interests are brain inflammation syndromes such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis; post-infectious movement disorders. His laboratory interests are acute onset brain inflammation and brain autoimmunity, including the role of novel autoantibodies in post-infectious movement disorders and behavioural syndromes. He will contribute to the CPI paediatric cohorts suffering from autoimmune and autoinflammatory brain diseases and expertise in investigation of their pathogenesis in mouse models.

Associate Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal

Associate Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal is a Paediatrician and Paediatric Rheumatologist with over 10 years of experience in the management of children with rheumatic diseases working at The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network Randwick and Westmead Campuses and John Hunter Children's Hospital Newcastle. He has a strong interest in vasculitis and arthritis. He was trained at Toronto Sick Children's Hospital and has developed an exceptional clinical program treating a range of systemic inflammatory disorders. He will be contributing to the program cohorts in JSLE, Juvenile Dermatomyosiits, non bacterial osteitis and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and expertise in investigating pathogenesis of these diseases.

Professor Stephan Ehl

Professor Stephan Ehl is the head of the Centre for Chronic immunodeficiency at the University of Freiburg. He is looking after large, well-characterized cohorts of patients with different primary immunodeficiencies. Building on well-established collaborations with Dr Enders and Professor Schwarz his contribution to the Centre for Personalised Immunology will consist of providing some patients from his patient cohorts who have HLH and (severe) combined immunodeficiency for exome sequencing and further analysis. The details of new identified genes will be used to generate matching mouse models by CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis. He will also provide advice on the HLH patients contributed by Professor Cook and others.

Professor Robert Brink

Professor Robert Brink is Head of the Immunology Research Division at the Garvan Institute. He is an expert in the generation of sophisticated genetically modified mouse models designed to elucidate in vivo B cell biology. These models he has generated have been successfully employed within his laboratory and in laboratories around the world to make landmark findings. In the last year he has successfully used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to generate mice carrying mutations in B cell genes. He will provide local advice to the CRE in the implementation and scaling-up of this technology.

Dr Jalila Alshekaili

Dr Jalila Alshekaili is an Immunopathologist in Oman who trained with Professor Cook in Canberra. She completed a PhD investigating primary immune deficiency diseases in the centre. She now runs a large diagnostic service for patients with suspected primary immune deficiency. This includes adults and children. Dr Alshekaili will submit patient samples for sequencing and phenotyping. This will include offspring from consanguineous marriages.

Dr Keats Nelms

Dr Keats Nelms (PhD) is Director of Business Development at The Australian National University (ANU). He worked at the NIH, at G.D. Searle & Co. as well as at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). He was the co-founder of Phenomix Corporation (San Diego, USA), and director of Phenomix Australia, the largest privately held biotechnology start-up company ever founded in Australia to facilitate drug development from a forward genetics screen. In 2005, the company raised US$40 million. Dr Nelms will provide expert advice on commercialisation opportunities throughout the life of the centre.

Professor Nicholas Glasgow

Professor Nicholas Glasgow is Dean Medicine & Health Sciences and Dean Medical School College of Medicine Biology & Environment (ANU). He held academic appointments at the University of the United Arab Emirates and the University of Sydney. He has expertise in health systems research, particularly interactions between research evidence and health policy. He will supervise educational policy development around medical genomics, and strategies for implementing genomics into routine health care.