Dr Danyal Butt

Visiting Scientist

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Associate Lecturer, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Danyal graduated with a degree in Biotechnology from UNSW and earned First Class Honours for his work on antibody engineering in the lab of A/Prof Daniel Christ at the Garvan Institute. He then worked as a research scientist for the US based biotechnology company Cephalon Inc, where he was involved in the research and development of therapeutic antibodies for cancer and inflammatory conditions.

In 2011, Danyal returned to Garvan and commenced a PhD under the guidance of Prof Robert Brink. As part of his PhD, he discovered a novel population of lymphocytes termed “rogue” GC B cells that trigger autoimmune disease, as well as the molecular “trigger guard” that normally holds them in check.

Since the completion of his PhD in 2015, Danyal continues to understand the role of this population of cells using high resolution in vivo mouse models and next generation sequencing techniques. Defining the mechanisms that gives rise to these cells will allow for the development of new diagnosis and treatment strategies for autoimmune diseases.

Research Interests

B cell responses
Germinal centre reaction
Antibody affinity maturation
Autoimmune diseases
Next Generation Sequencing

Awards and Honours

2016 - Biorad People’s Choice Best Oral Presentation, 5th Annual Post-Doctoral Symposium
2016 - Heliflite Young Explorer Award
2016 - ICI-FIMSA International Travel Award
2016 - Australasian Society of Immunology Travel Award
2016 - RIKEN Travel Fellowship, RIKEN Centre for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS)
2016 - Selected to attend the 10th RIKEN-IMS Summer Program, RIKEN, Japan
2016 - Selected to attend the 5th NIF Winter School on Advanced Immunology, Japan
2015 - Australasian Society of Immunology International Travel Award
2014 - First Prize Australasian Society of Immunology Photo Competition
2013 - Postgraduate Research Scheme Scholarship, UNSW
2011-2014 - Australian Postgraduate Award
2010 - Data Presentation Award – Biosensor Workshop, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia
2009 - Best Student Oral Honours Presentation– UNSW Australia


2015 – PhD (Medicine), Garvan Institute of Medical Research, University of New South Wales – Australia
2009 – BSc (Distinction First Class Honours in Biotechnology), University of New South Wales – Australia

Selected Publications

N.J. Kräutler, D. Suan, Danyal Butt, K. Bourne, J.R. Hermes, T.D. Chan, C. Sundling, W. Kaplan, P. Schofield, J. Jackson, A. Basten, D. Christ, R. Brink: Differentiation of germinal center B cells into plasma cells is initiated by high-affinity antigen and completed by Tfh cells. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 214 (5). 1259-1267 (2017).

Danyal Butt, T.D. Chan, K. Bourne, J.R. Hermes, A. Nguyen, A. Statham, L.A. O’Reilly, A. Strasser, S. Price, P. Schofield, D. Christ, A. Basten, C.S. Ma, S.G. Tangye, T.G. Phan, V.K. Rao and R. Brink: FAS inactivation releases unconventional germinal center B cells that escape antigen control and drive IgE and autoantibody production. Immunity. 42. 890-902 (2015).

Accompanied by expert commentary: Allen C.D. “Germinal center quality control: death by Fas” Immunity. 42. 783-785 (2015).

T.D. Chan, K. Wood, J.R. Hermes, Danyal Butt, C.J. Jolly, A. Basten and R. Brink: Elimination of germinal center-derived self-reactive B cells is governed by the location and level of self-antigen. Immunity. 37. 893-904. (2012).

A.W. Clarke, L. Poulton, H.Y. Wai, S.A. Walker, S.D. Victor, T. Domagala, D. Mraovic, Danyal Butt, N. Shewmaker, P.A. Jennings and A.G. Doyle: A novel class of anti-IL-12p40 antibodies: Potent neutralization via inhibition of IL-12–IL-12Rβ2 and IL-23–IL-23R. Mabs. 2. 539-549 (2010). 

Dr Danyal Butt