Mr Frank Vari

Research Officer

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 344 37060


An immunologist with a long-standing interest in the imme response to, and immune micro-environment asssociated with, a variety of blood cancers, specifically lymphoma and myeloma.

Expert in a number of in vitro immunological techniques, including immunomagnetic cell isolation and flow cytometry.

Research Interests

  • CD163 identifies a highly immunosuppressive subset of moMDSC in poor-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
    In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), raised monocyte and low lymphocyte blood counts are associated with inferior outcome. This is believed to be mediated by suppression of effector (NK and T) lymphocytes by CD14+HLA-DRlo monocytoid-myeloid derived suppressor cells (moMDSC), but has not been prospectively validated. Intra-tumoral CD163 expression (a M2 tumor associated macrophage marker) also appears prognostically adverse. The relationship between CD163 and moMDSC, and their influence on antiCD20 monoclonal antibody NK-cell antibody-dependent cellular-cytotoxicity (ADCC) in DLBCL is unknown.
  • Natural Killer cell effector function
    Although Natural killer (NK) cells are key innate immune effectors, the underlying molecular mechanisms controlling their function are poorly understood. NK cells also release cytokines that are important in stimulating and regulating an effector immune response, of which interferon gamma (IFNγ) is the best characterized. In addition to its direct effects on inhibiting viral replication, IFNγ has important effects on macrophages and T-cells, inducing their enhanced function. Modulating NK cell function, through drugs which influence the unfolded protein response, may improve their anti-cancer activity and lead to novel approaches for eradicated NK-susceptible tumours.


View all Publications


  • (2017) Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2009) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision