Immunology and Immunodeficiency

Our focus is on understanding the development and function of particular types of white blood cells: the cells of the immune system that protect us against infectious diseases and that are responsible for the success of vaccination strategies.

Specifically, we study the cellular and molecular biology of B cells, which produce antibodies; a specialised population of “helper” T cells that co-ordinates the activity of B cells, allowing them to become antibody-producing cells; and “cytotoxic” T cells which are responsible for recognising and killing virus-infected or malignant cells. We are particularly interested in understanding how the immune system responds to infections or vaccinations, such that it can provide us with a ‘memory’ of the response so that following subsequent exposure to the same infectious agent, our immune systems will respond more rapidly, robustly and efficiently.

The goal of research performed in the Tangye lab is to determine how genetic defects in B cells and T cells underlie the development and clinical features of human primary immunodeficiencies. This is achieved by studying lymphocyte development, signalling, differentiation and effector function in patients with diseases resulting from monogenic loss-of-function mutations in key regulators of immune responses, as well as in corresponding animal models of these human conditions.

In the past few years, the lab has provided significant insight into the requirements for the development and differentiation of human lymphocytes, and how these processes are compromised in immune deficiencies

Overall, we hope to identify means to improve the immune response in individuals with immunodeficiencies and ways by which the immune system of patients with autoimmune diseases could be attenuated.

In the News

Done in 180 seconds: snappy science from Precinct PhD students - Jul 28, 2017
NHMRC: grants success for Garvan researchers - Dec 05, 2016
Unravelling the complexity of human immune disease gene by gene: clues from genetic immunodeficiencies - Aug 26, 2016
Inter-disciplinary approach to medical research changing the way we think about cancer treatment - Jun 21, 2016
Antibodies on the agenda: major funding boost for Garvan immunologists - Mar 18, 2016
Student success at ASI-DGfI Conference - Dec 08, 2015
A piece in the puzzle of primary immunodeficiency - Aug 07, 2015
Insight into how we protect ourselves from certain bacteria and fungi - May 04, 2015
Students Receive 2015 UNSW Research Excellence Award - Feb 19, 2015
Associate Professor Stuart Tangye awarded a Fulbright scholarship - Feb 16, 2015
Molecular interplay explains many immunodeficiencies - Nov 11, 2013
Understanding immune system memory – in a roundabout way - Nov 11, 2013
Garvan receives $15.5 million in NHMRC funding round - Oct 25, 2013
Surprise finding reveals adaptive nature of immune system - Jul 15, 2013
Garvan performs well in NHMRC grants round - Oct 24, 2012
Potential gene therapy for patients with rare disease - Apr 11, 2012
Potential to adjust the volume control on our immune response - Mar 16, 2012
Understanding kiss of death for some improves outlook for others - Nov 02, 2011
Stuart Tangye wins 2011 Gottschalk Medal - Dec 15, 2010
Creating clarity around a key aspect of the immune system - Aug 16, 2010
How a single molecule gives our immune systems their memory - Jan 11, 2010
What B cells can tell us about certain cancers and autoimmune diseases - Nov 23, 2009
Finding that could shed light on "golden staph", candida and allergies - Jul 01, 2008
Silencing of molecular 'conversation' may help curb severe allergies - Mar 07, 2008
Managing the way our immune system remembers infection - Jul 31, 2007

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