News & events

CPI Awarded FOCIS Center of Excellence

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The CPI’s application to become a FOCIS Center of Excellence (FCE) was approved and is the only Australian-based FCE.

“Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) exists to improve human health through immunology by fostering interdisciplinary approaches to both understand and treat immune-based diseases. Now in its twelfth year of existence, FOCIS has 53 Member Societies, representing roughly 65,000 clinician scientists. A Federation of this size provides a voice for clinical immunologists and ultimately strives to improve patient care.”

Being an FCE provides an opportunity to build an interdisciplinary translational immunology community. Moreover, the FCE community offers an effective training environment for translational researchers and clinicians by promoting innovation and developing a network for future initiatives.

CPI co-Director Professor Carola Vinuesa will co-Chair the “Next-Gen Genetics” session at the FOCIS Annual meeting in Boston in June, 2016.

IDFA and CPI present Patient Information Day at JCSMR

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia (IDFA) with the Centre for Personalised Immunology, ANU and ACT Health held a patient information afternoon at the John Curtin School for Medical Research. Speakers included Ms Christine Jeffrey, Associate Professor David Fulcher, Professor Matthew Cook, Mr Michael Stone, Ms Anastasia Wilson and Mr Adam Friedrich. The event was well attended and participants heard about the role of IDFA in patient support; the science behind the causes of immunodeficiencies; and current strategies in genomic medicine to further understand and treat these diseases. After the tea break, changes to national immune globulin (Ig) supply, subcutaneuous immune globulin (SCIg) treatment and the patient experience were discussed.

CPI celebrates first year during Australasian Society for Immunology meeting

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI) hosted a dinner at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla, to celebrate our one year anniversary and the launch of our new website. The dinner was hosted by Professor Ian Young AO (Vice-Chancellor, ANU) and CPI Chairman Mr Peter Yates AM.  

The Vice-Chancellor announced a generous donation of $100,000 to the Centre to establish the Elizabeth Greene PhD Scholarship by Mr Yates AM.

Guests included His Excellency Mr Manuel Cacho (Ambassador to Spain), Ms Nicole Feely (Director General, ACT Health) and Professor Anne Kelso AO (CEO, NH&MRC). The dinner was held during the week of the Australasian Society for Immunology’s annual meeting, in Canberra. Distinguished scientists who attended this meeting and dinner included Professor Diane Mathis from Harvard University, USA Professor Michel Nussenzweig from Rockefeller University, USA and Professor Klaus Warnatz, University of Freiburg, Germany. Professor Mathis talked about recent developments in immunology and the challenges and opportunities in genomic medicine.

Immunology Seminar

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Canberra Immunology Seminar will be held on
When: Saturday 12th December 2015 at 1pm-5pm AEDT
Place:
Finkel Lecture Theatre Building 131, Level 2,
John Curtin School of Medical Research,
Australian National University, Garran Rd, ACT
YouTube recording: https://youtu.be/tblWyFLTFx8

Program/Speakers:

Ms Christine Jeffery
Executive Officer IDFA

Associate Professor David Fulcher
The University of Sydney and Hills Immunology
The Immune System and Primary Immune Deficiencies

Professor Matthew Cook
ANU and The Canberra Hospital
The work of the Centre for Personalised Immunology

Michael Stone
Deputy General Manager and General Counsel, National Blood Authority, Australia
Recent changes to National Ig Supply

Ms Anastasia Wilson RN, Research Assistant
ANU and Canberra Hospital
SCIg (subcutaneous immunoglobulin) treatment

Joint Centre Appoints Two New Junior Investigators

Monday, November 30, 2015

Professor Nan Shen has recently appointed two new investigators, Deng Jun and Qian Yuting, to the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology (CACPI). Professor Shen, is the Director of Shanghai Institute of Rheumatology, Ren Ji Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. His research mainly focuses on determining the molecular disease pathways in the systemic autoimmune disease, particularly lupus, using a functional genomics approach.

Professor Shen with Professor Vinuesa as co-directors, Dr Di Yu (Head of Molecular Immunomodulation, Monash University) and Professor Matthew Cook have led the establishment of the laboratories at Renji Hospital in Shanghai.

In the photo below is the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology (CACPI) offices, Renji Hospital, Shanghai – Prof Nan Shen, Deng Jun, research assistant, Qian Yuting, Dr Di Yu (L-R)

 

Academy honours JCSMR scientist

The Australian Academy of Science has honoured scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) for their work and discoveries in the core of the earth, astronomy, rocket science and the human immune system.

Four ANU scientists - Professor Martin Asplund, Professor Christine Charles, Professor Malcolm Sambridge and Professor Carola Vinuesa - are among the 21 new Fellows elected to the Academy.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO congratulated the new Fellows and said the range of their research underlined the breadth of scientific research at ANU.

"I congratulate the four new Fellows, not only for their excellent careers, but for the leadership they have shown in their fields," Professor Young said.

"Their contribution to the research community exemplifies what makes ANU a world-class university."

ANU medical researcher nationally recognised

Immunologist Professor Carola Vinuesa has been recognised for excellence in medical research.

Professor Vinuesa, who is Head of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), has received the 2015 Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research.

The award honours Professor Vinuesa's work in antibody responses and the discovery of genes and pathways that prevent autoimmune diseases, which has opened up new avenues to diagnosis and treatment.

"I feel honoured. It is nice to know the community and our peers appreciate the work that we do and that people think that what we do is useful," she said.

"This award is recognition not of me alone but of my whole team. I've been very fortunate as I think I've got a really incredible international team that work very hard and are very motivated and extremely bright."

Benefactors Cynthia Harvey and her husband Gary Vipond were welcomed this month at the Centre for Personalised Immunology

Benefactors Cynthia Harvey and her husband Gary Vipond were welcomed this month at the Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI) at The John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Visiting from Queensland, they met with Directors Professor Matthew Cook and Professor Carola Vinuesa and were given a tour of the school, enabling them to see first-hand how their contributions to The Alan Harvey Research Endowment had helped researchers.

The Endowment has raised over $100,000 for research into CVID (Common Variable Immune Deficiency). Some of the funds have been used to purchase a Neon Transfection system, a next generation electroporation device that is highly efficient at transfection of difficult-to-transfect cells. This system is needed to test the function of specific gene variants involved in immune disease. Funds will also support genome sequencing of immunodeficient patients, providing a foundation for further research on genes that cause CVID.

Inaugural School of Personalised Immunology educates Clinicians on Genomic Medicine

The inaugural School of Personalised Immunology was held at JCSMR on the 2-3 May 2015. Convened by Associate Professor David Fulcher the School had 70 attendees including Clinicians, GPs and medical students from hospitals and research institutes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Hong Kong. The day and a half program covered the latest technologies in phenotyping and genomic medicine for understanding and treating immune diseases. The program covered basic genomics and methodologies, bioinformatics, research models of disease, ethics and translational science.

Our international guest speaker, Professor Nan Shen, Professor of Medicine and Director of Shanghai Institute of Rheumatology, Ren Ji Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine presented his extensive research on the role of interferon-gamma in lupus.

Among many highlights was Dr Julia Ellyard’s presentation on how she and her team were able to identify the genetic cause of lupus in a specific individual and subsequently determine a pathway for effective treatment.

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