Lab+Life Scientist Dec 17/Jan 2018

Page 45

Lorne Infection and Immunity


Mansi Gandhi

Nucleic acids and immunity Dr Michael Gantier, ARC Future Fellow, Research Group Head, Nucleic Acids and Innate Immunity at the Hudson Institute in Melbourne, sheds light on the latest trends and developments in immunology and infectious disease research.


Lab+Life Scientist: What’s your lab’s current focus? Michael Gantier: W e a r e w o r k i n g o n fter completing a PhD on RNA

understanding how nucleic acids (ie, DNA and

interference in Dublin (Ireland), Dr Michael

RNA) are involved at the interface between

Gantier moved to Australia to join the laboratory

infection and immunity. In addition to carrying

of Professor Bryan Williams.

genetic information, DNA and RNA are also

In 2015, he established his independent

critical regulators of immune responses to

laboratory at the Hudson Institute of Medical

pathogens. Being universally conserved across

Research, to study how nucleic acids control the

all forms of life, nucleic acids are used from

interface between host and pathogens, and how

prokaryotes to eukaryotes to signal infection,

this can lead to inflammatory diseases.

and mount rapid responses limiting the impact

Dr Gantier is presenting at this year’s Lorne

of the pathogen on the infected host. This system

Infection & Immunity Conference 2018 to be

universally relies on the capacity of the host to

held from 14–16 February in Lorne, Victoria. He

distinguish its own nucleic acids from those of

reflects on the latest developments in the field

the pathogen.

of infection and immunity and his lab’s current research focus and future plans. |

The last decade has revealed that defective capacity to distinguish between host and

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