Dr Tri Phan

Lab Head - Intravital Microscopy

Senior Research Officer

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

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

Tri studied undergraduate medicine at the University of Sydney and completed a double fellowship in Internal Medicine and Pathology under the guidance Dr Stephen Adelstein and Dr Roger Garsia in the Department of Clinical Immunology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. For his PhD he developed a B cell receptor knock-in mouse model to study in vivo B cell responses to foreign and self-antigen under the supervision of Prof Antony Basten and A/Prof Robert Brink at the Centenary Institute, Sydney.

His interest in defining the in vivo contexts of B cell responses and resolving germinal centre selection events in space and time lead to post-doctoral studies with Prof Jason Cyster at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco where he used intravital two-photon microscopy to investigate the initiation of B cell responses in the lymph node. Tri established an intravital two-photon microscope facility at the Garvan Institute in 2010.

Research Interests

The role of subcapsular sinus macrophages in immunity
The basis of positive and negative selection in the germinal centre
The bone marrow long-lived plasma cell niche
The use of intravital two-photon photoconversion for cell fate mapping
The development of prototype clinical diagnostic imaging devices

Awards and Honours

2014 - ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology
2011 - NHMRC Career Development Fellowship
2006 - NHMRC C.J. Martin Post-doctoral Research Fellowship
2006 - American Australian Association Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship
2005 - University of Sydney Early Career Development Award
2005 - Australasian Society of Immunology New Investigator Award
1999 - D.S. Nelson Prize (Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia)
1998 - Eddie Hirst Memorial Prize (Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia)
1994 - University Medal, University of Sydney


2005 - PhD, University of Sydney - Australia
2002 - Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP)
2002 - Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA)
1994 - MBBS, University of Sydney - Australia

Selected Publications

Phan TG, Amiezer M. Disentangling Tfr cells from Treg cells and Tfh cells:How to untie the Gordian knot. Eur J immunol. 2016:10.1002 2016/04/24

Lawson MA*, McDonald MM*, Kovacic N, Hua Khoo W, Terry RL, Down J, Kaplan W, Paton-Hough J, Fellows C, Pettitt JA, Neil Dear T, Van Valckenborgh E, Baldock PA, Rogers MJ, Eaton CL, Vanderkerken K, Pettit AR, Quinn JM, Zannettino AC, Phan TG^, Croucher PI^. Osteoclasts control reactivation of dormant myeloma cells by remodelling the endosteal niche. Nat Commun. 2015;6:8983. Epub 2015/12/04. [*Equal first authors, ^ equal last authors]

Tangye SG, Brink R, Goodnow CC, Phan TG. SnapShot: Interactions between B Cells and T Cells. Cell. 2015;162(4):926- e1.

Ma CS, Wong N, Rao G, Avery DT, Torpy J, Hambridge T, Bustamante J, Okada S, Stoddard JL, Deenick EK, Pelham SJ, Payne K, Boisson-Dupuis S, Puel A, Kobayashi M, Arkwright PD, Kilic SS, El Baghdadi J, Nonoyama S, Minegishi Y, Mahdaviani SA, Mansouri D, Bousfiha A, Blincoe AK, French MA, Hsu P, Campbell DE, Stormon MO, Wong M, Adelstein S, Smart JM, Fulcher DA, Cook MC, Phan TG, Stepensky P, Boztug K, Kansu A, Ikinciogullari A, Baumann U, Beier R, Roscioli T, Ziegler JB, Gray P, Picard C, Grimbacher B, Warnatz K, Holland SM, Casanova JL, Uzel G, Tangye SG. Monogenic mutations differentially affect the quantity and quality of T follicular helper cells in patients with human primary immunodeficiencies. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015;136(4):993-1006 e1. Epub 2015/07/15.

Butt D, Chan TD, Bourne K, Hermes JR, Nguyen A, Statham A, O'Reilly LA, Strasser A, Price S, Schofield P, Christ D, Basten A, Ma CS, Tangye SG, Phan TG, Rao VK, Brink R. FAS Inactivation Releases Unconventional Germinal Center B Cells that Escape Antigen Control and Drive IgE and Autoantibody Production. Immunity. 2015;42(5):890-902. Epub 2015/05/17.

Suan D*, Nguyen A*, Moran I*, Bourne K, Hermes JR, Arshi M, Hampton HR, Tomura M, Miwa Y, Kelleher AD, Kaplan W, Deenick EK, Tangye SG, Brink R, Chtanova T, Phan TG. T follicular helper cells have distinct modes of migration and molecular signatures in naive and memory immune responses. Immunity. 2015;42(4):704-18. [*Equal first authors]

Chang J, Ip M, Yang M, Wong B, Power T, Lin L, Xuan W, Phan TG, Leong RW. The learning curve, interobserver, and intraobserver agreement of endoscopic confocal laser endomicroscopy in the assessment of mucosal barrier defects. Gastrointest Endosc. 2015. Epub 2015/09/08.

Junankar S, Shay G, Jurczyluk J, Ali N, Down J, Pocock N, Parker A, Nguyen A, Sun S, Kashemirov B, McKenna CE, Croucher PI, Swarbrick A, Weilbaecher K, Phan TG^, Rogers MJ^. Real-Time Intravital Imaging Establishes Tumor-Associated Macrophages as the Extraskeletal Target of Bisphosphonate Action in Cancer. Cancer Discovery 2014. Epub 2014/10/15. [^ equal contribution]

Phan TG, Long GV, Scolyer RA. Checkpoint inhibitors for cancer immunotherapy. Multiple checkpoints on the long road towards cancer immunotherapy. Immunol Cell Biol. 2015;93(4):323-5. Epub 2015/02/18.

Lee WM, Upadhya A, Reece PJ, Phan TG. Fabricating low cost and high performance elastomer lenses using hanging droplets. Biomedical Optics Express. 2014;5(5):1626-35. Epub 2014/05/31.

Chtanova T^, Hampton HR, Waterhouse LA, Wood K, Tomura M, Miwa Y, Mackay CR, Brink R, Phan TG^. Real-time interactive two-photon photoconversion of recirculating lymphocytes for discontinuous cell tracking in live adult mice. Journal of Biophotonics 2014; 7:425-433. Epub 2012/11/28. [^ equal contribution]

Suan D, Hampton HR, Tomura M, Kanagawa O, Chtanova T, Phan TG. (2013). Optimizing fluorescence excitation and detection for intravital two-photon microscopy. Methods in Cell Biology 113, 311-323.

Phan TG, Bullen A. Practical intravital two-photon microscopy for immunological research: faster, brighter, deeper. Immunol. Cell Biol. 2010; 88(4):438-44.

Phan TG, Brink R. Micromanaging memory with immunoglobulin microclusters. Immunity. 2010; 32(6):732-3.

Phan TG, Gray EA, Cyster JG. The microanatomy of B cell activation. Current Opinions Immunol. 2009; 21(3):258-65.

Phan TG, Green JA, Gray EA, Xu Y, Cyster JG. Immune complex relay by subcapsular sinus macrophages and non-cognate B cells drive antibody affinity maturation. Nat Immunol. 2009; 10(7):786-93.  

Grigorova I, Scwab SR, Phan TG, Pham TH, Okada T, Cyster JG. Cortical sinus probing, S1P1-dependent entry and flow-based capture of egressing T cells. Nat Immunol. 2009; 10(1):58-65.

Suzuki K, Grigorova I, Phan TG, Kelly L, Cyster JG. Visualizing B cell capture of cognate antigen from follicular dendritic cells. J Exp Med. 2009; 206(7):1485-93.

Phan TG, Grigorova I, Okada T, Cyster JG. Subcapsular encounter and complement-dependent transport of immune complexes by lymph node B cells. Nat Immunol. 2007; 8(9):992-1000.

Paus D^, Phan TG^, Chan TD, Gardam S, Basten A, Brink R. Antigen recognition strength regulates the choice between extrafollicular plasma cell and germinal center B cell differentiation. J Exp Med. 2006; 203(4):1081-91. [^ equal first author].

Phan TG^, Paus D^, Chan TD, Turner ML, Nutt SL, Basten A, Brink R. High affinity germinal center B cells are actively selected into the plasma cell compartment. J Exp Med. 2006;203(11):2419-24. [^ equal first author].

Phan TG, Gardam S, Basten A, Brink R. Altered migration, recruitment, and somatic hypermutation in the early response of marginal zone B cells to T cell-dependent antigen. J Immunol. 2005; 174(8):4567-78.

Phan TG, Amesbury M, Gardam S, Crosbie J, Hasbold J, Hodgkin PD, Basten A, Brink R. B cell receptor-independent stimuli trigger immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination and production of IgG autoantibodies by anergic self-reactive B cells. J Exp Med. 2003; 197(7):845-60.

Thien M, Phan TG, Gardam S, Amesbury M, Basten A, Mackay F, Brink R. Excess BAFF rescues self-reactive B cells from peripheral deletion and allows them to enter forbidden follicular and marginal zone niches. Immunity. 2004; 20(6):785-98.

Dr Tri Phan