Insight Centenary: The possibility of medical research

The possibility of what we can discover from the very fundamental research we do on chronic diseases is what makes my work really interesting.

PhD scholar Tom Guy, T cell Biology

PhD scholar Tom Guy, T cell Biology

As a child, some of my close family suffered from cancer, so when I started university I became fascinated with the study of tumour immunology. I found it intriguing that people were looking to the immune system to fight off cancer as a new form of treatment.

Now that I’m working at Centenary I’ve been able to do 
just that. I’m essentially investigating the best strategy for the immune system to stop tumour growth. I look at two cell types, CD4 T cells and B cells, and how these two cells work together to kill tumours once regulatory T cells (T regs) are switched off. T regs are the network managers of our immune system. Continue reading

Nobel Laureate Professor Rolf Zinkernagel visits Centenary

Nobel Laureate Professor Rolf Zinkernagel engaged in a dynamic round table discussion with Centenary Institute scientists this morning.

Professor Rolf Zinkernagel

Professor Rolf Zinkernagel at the Centenary Institute

Professor Zinkernagel – Professor Emeritus of The University of Zurich, Switzerland – is the 1996 Nobel Laureate (with Professor Peter Doherty) in Medicine “for research on the biochemical mechanism with which the immune system recognises and destroys virus-infected cells”.

Five of Centenary’s scientists were excited to have the privilege of presenting and discussing their latest immunologically based research to their peers and the internationally renowned superstar of the scientific and medical world. Continue reading

How a simple infection can lead to something much worse


Dr Chris Jolly has made an important contribution to understanding how infections can trigger autoimmune diseases

The Centenary Institute has made an important contribution to a significant study that suggests how infections can trigger serious autoimmune diseases such as rheumatic fever.

The research, just published in the international journal Immunity, shows how, in unusual circumstances, the B cells of the immune system occasionally work against the body, producing antibodies that attack the cells of our own organs—in the case of rheumatic fever, the heart.

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First trip abroad sees PhD Candidate win Immunology prize

Michelle Vo

Sight seeing at the British Museum, London, en route to ECI 2012, Glasgow.

There comes a time in people’s careers when they have to step up. However, for Michelle Vo, this was no ordinary challenge.

It required a new passport, a 33,000km round trip, competition from 11 international PhD candidates and quite literally ‘stepping up’ into the bright lights of the big stage.  Adding to the excitement, this was also Michelle’s first time abroad.

Michelle was selected to present at the European Congress of Immunology (ECI) 2012, in Glasgow, Scotland, with an audience from 31 European countries and beyond, where she picked up the 2nd place prize in the Bright Sparks in ECImmunology.

‘A “bright spark” is defined… as someone who is thought of as particularly smart and quick-witted (…and sometimes, perhaps, a little too smart and quick-witted)…’ Continue reading