Dr Kylie Webster

Group Leader - Immune Tolerance

Senior Research Officer

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

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

Kylie completed a Bachelor of Science, Food Science & Technology, on an industry-partnered scholarship at UNSW before switching to medical research. After four years divided between industry and academic research in Australia and the USA, a strong interest in genetics took her to Melbourne to commence a PhD at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.  Here she studied a DNA methyltransferase, whose isolated expression pattern of testes, ovaries and thymus, shifted her research interests to the fields of reproductive biology and immunology.

Upon returning to Sydney in 2006, Kylie undertook postdoctoral training with Professor Sprent in the Immunology Division at the Garvan Institute. Here she pursued a new direction in the research of cytokine/antibody complexes, and found that using them to expand regulatory T cells in autoimmunity and transplantation yielded unprecedented protective effects.

She has since extended this research to include a situation analogous to transplantation, that is, pregnancy. In 2012 she was awarded two NHMRC project grants to study immune tolerance in both transplantation and pregnancy, and in 2013 was promoted to Group Leader of the Immune Tolerance Group.


Research Interests

Pregnancy and the immune system
Transplantation and immune tolerance
Cytokines and T cells

Awards and Honours

2012 - The CASS Foundation Postdoctoral Travel Grant
2010 - American Association of Immunologists Young Investigator Award
2010 - Australasian Society of Immunology Postdoctoral International Travel Award
2008 - The Transplantation Society New ‘Key Opinion Leader’ Award
2008 - Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand President’s Prize
2007-2010 - NHMRC ‘Peter Doherty’ Biomedical Research Training Fellowship


2005 - PhD, The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research / University of Melbourne - Australia
1996 - BSc (Hons), The University of New South Wales - Australia

Selected Publications

Loebbermann, J., H. Thornton, L. Durant, T. Sparwasser, K. E. Webster, J. Sprent, F. J. Culley, C. Johansson, and P. J. Openshaw. Regulatory T cells expressing granzyme B play a critical role in controlling lung inflammation during acute viral infection. Mucosal immunology 2012; 5: 161-172.

Cho, J. H., H. O. Kim, K. Webster, M. Palendira, B. Hahm, K. S. Kim, C. King, S. G. Tangye, and J. Sprent. Calcineurin-dependent negative regulation of CD94/NKG2A expression on naive CD8+ T cells. Blood 2011; 118: 116-128.

McGuire, H. M., S. Walters, A. Vogelzang, C. M. Lee, K. E. Webster, J. Sprent, D. Christ, S. Grey, and C. King. Interleukin-21 is critically required in autoimmune and allogeneic responses to islet tissue in murine models. Diabetes 2011; 60: 867-875.

Walters, S., K. E. Webster, A. Sutherland, S. Gardam, J. Groom, D. Liuwantara, E. Marino, J. Thaxton, A. Weinberg, F. Mackay, R. Brink, J. Sprent, and S. T. Grey. Increased CD4+Foxp3+ T cells in BAFF-transgenic mice suppress T cell effector responses. J. Immunol. 2009; 182: 793-801.

Webster, K. E., S. Walters, R. E. Kohler, T. Mrkvan, O. Boyman, C. D. Surh, S. T. Grey, and J. Sprent. In vivo expansion of T reg cells with IL-2-mAb complexes: induction of resistance to EAE and long-term acceptance of islet allografts without immunosuppression. J. Exp. Med. 2009; 206: 751-760.


Dr Kylie Webster