Immune responses are essential for protection against invasive diseases, but perturbation of the immune response can lead to susceptibility to infection.

Many microbial pathogens have specialised relationships with the host immune system that enable them to cause disease. By understanding this complex interplay, a better understanding can be gained regarding effective treatment protocols.

The Marshall Center has specialised programs in understanding the immune responses to Helicobacter pylori infections and the development of cancer, with Dr Barry Marshall; and the immune responses to dengue and zika infections, with Dr Allison Imrie.

Current research projects

H.pylori and immunity

How does H. pylori suppress the immune system of the host to create a parasitic lifestyle? It appears that H.pylori encourages a tolerant host immune system to allow long-term persistence. Our team is using animal studies and human trials to better understand this. Our research partner Ondek is investigating whether it can exploit the immune-regulatory effects of H.pylori to manage allergies.


Gastric cancer

Gastric cancer is a major health issue related to H. pylori infection, and the third most common cause of cancer death globally. Early diagnosis of gastric cancer is vital to prevent the 1400 deaths from this disease that occur in Australia each year.

The main focus of our research is to develop low-cost diagnostics for early gastric cancer, as well as to understand the mechanisms of cancer development due to H. pylori infection. This is done using genomic, transcriptomics and immunomic tools to study mucosal responses to H. pylori in the human gastric mucosa.

  • Samuel Lundin
  • Hannah Prins
  • Xiaomei Zhang
  • Qi Song
  • Malin Ă–stensson
  • Jenni Adamsson, Research Assistant.

Immune responses to dengue