Dr Deborah Burnett

Senior Research Officer - Immunogenomics Lab

Dr Deborah Burnett

Dr Deborah Burnett’s background in veterinary medicine kindled her interest in comparative immunology in health and disease. Dr Burnett undertook her honours at the WEHI under the supervision of Professor Ben Kile, investigating the mechanisms of platelet survival. In 2019, she completed a PhD at th

Research Level

Research Officer

Biography

Dr Deborah Burnett’s background in veterinary medicine kindled her interest in comparative immunology in health and disease. Dr Burnett undertook her honours at the WEHI under the supervision of Professor Ben Kile, investigating the mechanisms of platelet survival. In 2019, she completed a PhD at the Garvan Institute in the laboratory of Professor Chris Goodnow. Her PhD investigated the role of B cells in tolerance and immunity. It had joint aims of understanding the mechanisms of the autoimmune diseases, LRBA deficiency and understanding the role of self-binding B cells in immune responses and was awarded the Garvan Best PhD thesis, the UNSW Dean’s Award and the UNSW Faculty of Medicine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research. In 2019, she was awarded a DAAD visiting Scholar Fellowship to undertake research in the laboratory of Professor Wardemann in Germany. In 2020, she was awarded an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship, a COVID-19 Catalytic Grant and in 2021 she received a Perpetual Impact Grant.

She currently serves on numerous boards including the Garvan Animal Ethics Committee and as a Council member for the Australian Society of Immunology.

Dr Burnett’s research now focuses on the use of sophisticated mouse models to understand the role of antibodies in healthy vaccine responses and in disease.

Dr Deborah Burnett’s background in veterinary medicine kindled her interest in comparative immunology in health and disease. Dr Burnett undertook her honours at the WEHI under the supervision of Professor Ben Kile, investigating the mechanisms of platelet survival. In 2019, she completed a PhD at the Garvan Institute in the laboratory of Professor Chris Goodnow. Her PhD investigated the role of B cells in tolerance and immunity. It had joint aims of understanding the mechanisms of the autoimmune diseases, LRBA deficiency and understanding the role of self-binding B cells in immune responses and was awarded the Garvan Best PhD thesis, the UNSW Dean’s Award and the UNSW Faculty of Medicine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research. In 2019, she was awarded a DAAD visiting Scholar Fellowship to undertake research in the laboratory of Professor Wardemann in Germany. In 2020, she was awarded an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship, a COVID-19 Catalytic Grant and in 2021 she received a Perpetual Impact Grant.

She currently serves on numerous boards including the Garvan Animal Ethics Committee and as a Council member for the Australian Society of Immunology.

Dr Burnett’s research now focuses on the use of sophisticated mouse models to understand the role of antibodies in healthy vaccine responses and in disease.

Awards and Honours

Awarded NHMRC, Emerging Leadership 1 Investigator Grant (2020-ongoing).
Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research by a Higher Degree Student, UNSW Medicine Education and Research Awards (2019).
Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses, UNSW Graduate Research School (2019).
Garvan Best PhD Thesis Award (2019).
DAAD Short Term Research Grant at the DKFZ, Germany (2019).
Research Excellence Award, University of NSW, (2015- 2018).
Australian Postgraduate Award, University of NSW (2015- 2018).
Immunology and Cell Biology Journal Publication of the Year Award (2018).
Australian Society of Immunology New Investigator, Finalist (2018).
The H.R. Carne Medal for First Place in BSc(Vet) (Hons) Degree (2010).
University of Sydney Honours Scholarship (2010).
Alan W Harris Honours Medical Research Scholarship (2010).
University College Graduate Scholarship (2010).

Selected Publications

Burnett, DL, Schofield, P, Langley, DL, Jackson, J, Bourne, K, Wilson, E, Porebski, BT, Buckle, A, Brink, R, Goodnow, CC & Christ, D 2020 ‘Confirmational diversity facilitates antibody mutation trajectories and discrimination between foreign and self-antigens’ PNAS 

Singh, M, Jackson, JL, Wang, JJ, Schofield, P, Field, MA, Koppstein, D, Peters, TJ, Burnett, DL…. Reed, JH 2020 ‘Lymphoma driver mutations in the pathogenic evolution of an iconic human autoantibody’ Cell, DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2020.01.029

Burnett, DL, Reed, JH, Christ, D & Goodnow CC 2019 ‘Clonal redemption and clonal anergy as mechanisms to balance B cell tolerance and immunity’ Immunol Rev, DOI:10.1111/imr.12808.

Burnett, DL, Langley, DB, Schofield, P, Hermes, JR, Chan, TD, Jackson, J, Bourne, K, Reed, JH, Patterson, K, Porebski, BT, Christ, D & Goodnow, CC 2018 ‘Germinal center antibody mutation trajectories are determined by rapid self/foreign discrimination’ Science, DOI:10.1126/science.aao3859

Burnett, D, Parish, I, Masle-Farquhar, E, Brink, R & Goodnow, C 2017 ‘Murine LRBA-deficiency causes CTLA-4 deficiency in Tregs without progression to immune dysregulation’, Immunol Cell Biol, DOI:10.1038/icb.2017.50