News & events

Carola Vinuesa from ANU wins two top NHMRC awards

Thursday, July 13, 2017

ANU Professor Carola Vinuesa, Co-Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, has been honoured as one of Australia's leading medical researchers with two prestigious awards from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

She was named as the NHMRC's top female researcher in biomedical science in 2016, winning a prized Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship for a second time. Professor Vinuesa was part of a team that also included Dr Anselm Enders and Dr Simon Jiang named the NHRMC's top Project Grant application.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC congratulated Professor Vinuesa on her latest award and her enormous contribution to medical research.

"In 2011, Carola was awarded an Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, named in honour of Elizabeth Blackburn who won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine. To be awarded a second Blackburn fellowship is an extraordinary achievement and testament to Carola's remarkable work at JCSMR.” Professor Schmidt said.

Discovery of brain-like activity in immune system promises better disease treatments

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lead researcher Ilenia Papa confirmed for the first time that human immune cells contain particles that have neurotransmitters including dopamine, which plays a crucial role in immune responses.

The research, published in Nature, involved a collaboration with members of a Human Frontier Science Program consortium from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, and with other researchers in Italy.

Co-researcher Professor Vinuesa said the new findings opened the door to using available drugs to improve therapies for lymphoma, autoimmunity and immunodeficiency disorders.

To view the full story please click here

Research at the Centre for Personalised Immunology named the NHRMC's Top Project Grant application

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Professor Vinuesa, from The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), was part of a team that also included Dr Anselm Enders and Dr Simon Jiang named the NHRMC's top Project Grant application.

Professor Vinuesa is the Co-Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, where she has helped pioneer research into personalised medicine, using genetic sequences to tailor treatments for patients with systemic lupus and related autoimmune diseases.

Unearthing the Basis of Autoimmune Disease

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CPI Chief Investigator, Professor Richard Kitching of Monash University has discovered the mechanism that explains how key genetic risk factors cause or protect people from autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.

As senior co-author, he has published a paper in Nature answering the fundamental questions: why, and how, does having different immune molecules change a person’s underlying genetic risk of developing an autoimmune disease?

To see the full article, please visit:

Watch the animation below which illustrates the DR1 molecule at work:

Employing precision and personalized medicine | Carola G. Vinuesa

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The autoimmune disease lupus is one of many where the genes involved may differ widely from individual to individual, meaning treatments that help one patient may not help another.

Professor Carola G. Vinuesa, who heads the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at ANU, describes how it is possible to make personalised mouse models to test treatment for an individual – and discusses how this process could become more affordable.



Rare Disease Day Morning Tea 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A morning tea will be held in support of Rare Disease Day on Tuesday, 28 February 2017. Join us in making the voice of rare diseases heard.

The Rare Disease Day 2017 theme ‘Research Brings Hope’ recognises the crucial role that patients play in voicing their needs and in instigating change that improves their lives and the lives of their families and carers.

The Rare Disease Day 2017 slogan ‘Join us in making the voice of rare diseases heard’ appeals to a wider audience, those that are not living with or directly affected by a rare disease, to join the rare disease community in making known the impact of rare diseases. People living with a rare disease and their families are often isolated. The wider community can help to bring them out of this isolation.

Please show your support by coming to the Morning Tea, hosted by the Australian Phenomics facility and the Centre for Personalised Immunology.  The morning tea will be held in the JCSMR Tea Room at 10:30am on the 28 February 2017

The Elizabeth Green Scholarship 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This PhD Scholarship has been established in memory of Ms Elizabeth Greene through the very generous support of The Peter and Susan Yates Foundation, to encourage

research into understanding pathophysiological pathways in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, particularly Lupus, in order to make diagnoses more accurate and treatment more effective.

The 2016 Elizabeth Greene Scholarship was awarded to Mr Grant Brown, a PhD student in Professor Carola Vinuesa's laboratory, by Mr Peter Yates AM.

NHMRC Fellowship Recipients Announced

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Professor Carola Vinuesa was among the five Australian National University academics to be recognised by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) with Research Fellowships and Early Career Fellowships.

Professor Vinuesa received a Research Fellowship for her work in disease research and will receive $763,845 from the NHMRC.

Professor Vinuesa said the fellowship gives her enormous financial and psychological stability which allows her to plan ahead, take some risks and reduce the burden of non-research responsibilities.

"I will do my very best to return the dollars invested in me, so that patients suffering from immune diseases can benefit from my team's discoveries and young students and researchers grow under our mentorship and training," she said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt congratulated the winners and said their research would make a real difference to the lives of people around the world.