News & events

CPI Researchers identify the cause and mechanism of previously unexplained genetic condition

Friday, October 19, 2018

Image: Protein structure of IKK2 with substituted amino acid (red) shown within the activating pocket in the kinase domain.

Researchers at the Centre for Personalised Immunology have discovered the genetic cause and mechanism of a disease resulting in recurrent infections and inflammation. The research was led by Matthew Cook from the Centre for Personalised Immunology and Hirokazu Kanegane from Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Researchers identified two unrelated patients carrying an identical mutation in a gene called IKBKB.

The symptoms affecting these patients are a combination of the immune system being too weak and not mounting a proper response, while in other respects producing an excessive response.

“It is a disease which is characterised by immune deficiency where patients get recurrent infections, especially chest infections, including recurrent pneumonia, but paradoxically patients also suffer inflammatory diseases of the skin, lymph nodes and the spleen,” said Professor Cook.

CHARM: The Future of Personalised Medicine in Chronic Conditions Management

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Today, Professor Matthew Cook gave a presentation at the Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting (CHARM). Professor Cook spoke about the future of personalised medicine in chronic conditions, providing a conceptual framework for this future.

CHARM is the premier conference for the communication and translation of health-related research practice in the ACT. Professor Cook was invited to discuss his research conducted through the Centre for Personalised Immunology. The annual conference explores challenges, opportunities and discoveries in health and medical research in the region. This is an opportunity for showcasing research, networking, collaboration and capacity building for researchers and clinicians in the ACT and beyond.

Dr Matt Field Receives the Frank Fenner Award at the NHMRC Research Excellence Awards

Friday, June 29, 2018

Congratulations to Dr Matt Field who has been awarded the Frank Fenner Early Career Researcher Fellowship by the NHMRC.

As a Senior Research Fellow in Bioinformatics, Dr Field combines his love of both computer science and biology in order to translate research into improving health outcomes. Matt is a bioinformatician who works at the interface of genomics and computing, with expertise in high-throughput bioinformatics pipelines. His research aims to incorporate the latest technologies into the health system and make these technologies available to all Australians.

Matt is a Chief Investigator of the Centre for Personalised Immunology and a Senior Research Fellow in Bioinformatics at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine. The fellowship funds Dr Field’s research for a four-year term.

Congratulations Matt!

Alan Harvey CVID Research Scholarship Awarded to Chelisa Cardinez

Thursday, May 31, 2018

L – R, Christine Jeffery, Chelisa Cardinez, Robin Harvey, Laura Harvey, Emma Harvey

Congratulations to Chelisa Cardinez who has been awarded the Alan Harvey CVID Research Scholarship. Chelisa is a PhD candidate, and her research is done with The Cook Group at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR). Professor Cook is the group leader of the Cook Group and a co-director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI).

Chelisa received the award at the IDFA day on the 26th May. The award was presented by Robin Harvey, on behalf of the Harvey family. Robin travelled to Canberra for the day with his wife Laura and their baby Emma. During this conference, she gave a presentation about her research. Please click here to watch the presentation.  

Public Lecture in Support of rare Disease Day 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Harnessing The Power of Patient Samples to Diagnose, Understand and Treat Rare Immune Diseases

On the 28th February each year, the global rare disease community are shows their support for those who live with a rare disease.

The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives. The theme for Rare Disease Day 2018 is research, continuing on from 2017. The key ideas this year are the importance of patient participation in research and the role of researchers themselves. The patient community needs researchers. They discover diseases and develop treatments and cures. Rare disease research contributes to the development of diagnostic tools, treatments and cures, as well as improved health and social care for patients and their families.

IPNA Teaching Course and VIIth SEPNWG, ‘Personalised Genomics in Paediatric Nephrology: from the lab bench to the bedside’

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pictured L-R Velobir Tasic (Macedonia), Carola Vinuesa, Marija Jelusic (Croatia), Adrian Lungu (Romania) in Bucharest, Romania.

Professor Carola Vinuesa and Dr Todor Arson attended the International Pediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA) teaching course and the VIIth Meeting of the Southeastern Europe Pediatric Nephrology Working Group (VIIth SEPNWG). This was held in Bucharest from the 17th to the 18th November 2017 and was jointly organised between IPNA and SEPNWG. The joint conference was officially endorsed by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology.

Carola and Todor led the first session ‘Lupus’ at the teaching course in Romania. Over the two days, they both had the opportunity to meet with a number of clinicians who are currently contributing Eastern European patients into the CPI. A number of speakers from across Europe gave presentations over the two days of the conference, with Carola and Todor representing Australia and the CPI.

The Wholesome Show - Sunday night mutation diagnosis

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

“Featuring the ripest experts with the freshest perspectives, The Wholesome Show dispenses mentally nutritious stories about anything that has ever been worth thinking about.” - The Wholesome Show

Professor Carola Vinuesa joined Dr Will Grant and Dr Rob Lamberts at the Wig and Pen to discuss the research of the Centre for Perosnalised Immunology and the impact this has in the lives of every day Australians. The Wholesome Show is a series of podcasts that will centre around one individual and their ‘nugget’ of interest and it is hosted by Dr Lambert and Dr Grant every week. Professor Vinuesa was invited due to her "recent awards, ground breaking research and general wake of prestige".  


The Wholeseom Show is proudly supported by  the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (ANU).


To listen to the podcast please click here

Chasing the Cure: Adventures in Genetics with professor Carola Vinuesa

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Professor Carola Vinuesa was invited by Andrew Leigh MP to give the Fenner Lecture on the 1st November 2017.

The federal electorate represented by Andrew Leigh is named after Frank Fenner, the legendary Australian National University scientist who helped vanquish smallpox. Each year prominent scientists are invited to give a talk which highlights the value of science. This year Professor Vinuesa was invited to give the Fenner Lecture as she is a key individual in scientific research in Australia, particularly in the field of genetic immunology and associated diseases.

This was an opportunity for Professor Vinuesa to represent the work of the Centre for Personalised Immunology as well as the other projects that are currently underway locally and nationally. Professor Vinuesa discussed the progress human genome sequencing and gene editing. This research, in which Professor Vinuesa plays a key role, has allowed diagnosing and treating previously obscure and intractable diseases. Professor Vinuesa also spoke about her own experiences within medicine and research. 

Congratulations to Mr Peter Yates AM elected as an ATSE Outstanding Leader in Technological Sciences and Engineering

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Mr Peter Yates AM has been elected along with 24 other outstanding business and academic leaders as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). Mr Yates has been recognised for his passion and commitment to science and technology. He is the current Chair of the Royal Insituation of Australia and the Australian Science media Centre (AusSMC).

Mr Yates is the Chairman of the Centre for Personalised Immunology. Previously, he has generously supported the Elizabeth Green Scholarship, which encourages research into understanding pathophysiological pathways in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, particularly Lupus, in order to make diagnoses more accurate and treatment more effective. We are delighted he has been recognised as an ATSE Outstanding Leader in Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The Centre for Personalised Immunology Tackles Lupus

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Laura Campbell, photo credit = Rory Gillen

"The mental real estate required to manage and maintain a chronic illness is incredibly high.”

October is Lupus Awareness Month in Australia.

At the age of 18, after a sunny week outdoors celebrating the end of year 12, Laura Campbell suddenly became very ill and was hospitalised. Initially doctors thought she had contracted the Ross River virus. Her condition worsened, and doctors revised the diagnosis to pneumonia. Unable to keep up with the fluid collecting in her chest and lungs, and mystified by other symptoms, they intubated her and sent her by air ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. There, blood tests finally revealed the clues that led to the correct diagnosis, and to treatment that saved her life: Laura had lupus. It took her two months in the hospital to wean off of supplemental oxygen and learn to walk again.