Dr Antiopi Varelias

Honorary Senior Fellow

Royal Brisbane Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Dr Antiopi Varelias leads the Transplantation Immunology laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia and is the Coordinator of the Immunology and Infectious diseases seminar series at the Institute. She was awarded her PhD from The University of Adelaide (Faculty of Medicine) in 2002 and held post-doctoral positions within the University of Adelaide’s Department of Surgery (TQEH) and Haematology/Oncology Unit, TQEH before moving to Brisbane to join the Bone Marrow Transplantation laboratory at QIMR Berghofer in 2008, at the time led by Professor Geoff Hill. Under Professor Hill’s mentorship, she has published many original research articles in peer-reviewed high-ranking journals on graft-versus-host disease and has presented her research findings at many international and national scientific meetings. As a chief investigator, she has been the recipient of funding from the NH&MRC and CCQ and is a member of several professional societies (ASTCT, TTS, TSANZ, AAI, ASI, SMI, ICIS).

Dr Varelias’s research interests focus on improving our fundamental understanding of the pathophysiology of graft-versus-host disease using innovative technologies and pre-clinical models, with the view of translating these findings into clinical practice and thereby provide better transplant outcomes for patients. Current research aims to define the immunological basis that underpins graft-versus-host disease, with an emphasis on cellular, cytokine and microbiome interactions that regulate mucosal immunity during stem cell transplantation.

Publications

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Wilkinson, Andrew N., Olver, Stuart D., Samson, Luke D., Tey, Siok-Keen, MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2019) Expansion of IL-17A-secreting CD8 + mucosa-associated invariant T cells in peripheral blood following stem cell mobilization. Blood Advances, 3 5: 718-723. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025601

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Bunting, Mark D., Ormerod, Kate L., Koyama, Motoko, Olver, Stuart D., Straube, Jasmin, Kuns, Rachel D., Robb, Renee J., Henden, Andrea S., Cooper, Leanne, Lachner, Nancy, Gartlan, Kate H., Lantz, Olivier, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Fairlie, David P., Clouston, Andrew D., McCluskey, James, Rossjohn, Jamie, Lane, Steven W., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2018) Recipient mucosal-associated invariant T cells control GVHD within the colon. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 128 5: 1919-1936. doi:10.1172/JCI91646

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Ormerod, Kate L., Bunting, Mark D., Koyama, Motoko, Gartlan, Kate H., Kuns, Rachel D., Lachner, Nancy, Locke, Kelly R., Lim, Chun Y., Henden, Andrea S., Zhang, Ping, Clouston, Andrew D., Hasnain, Sumaira Z., McGuckin, Michael A., Blazar, Bruce R., MacDonald, Kelli P. A ., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) Acute graft-versus-host disease is regulated by an IL-17-sensitive microbiome. Blood, 129 15: 2172-2185. doi:10.1182/blood-2016-08-732628

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Kreijveld, Ellen, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Kuns, Rachel D., Lineburg, Katie E., Teal, Bianca E., Raffelt, Neil C., Cheong, Melody, Alexander, Kylie A., Koyama, Motoko, Markey, Kate A., Sturgeon, Elise, Leach, Justine, Reddy, Pavan, Kennedy, Glen A., Yanik, Gregory A., Blazar, Bruce R., Tey, Siok-Keen, Clouston, Andrew D., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Cooke, Kenneth R. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2015) Lung parenchyma-derived IL-6 promotes IL-17A-dependent acute lung injury after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Blood, 125 15: 2435-2444. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-07-590232

  • Kennedy, Glen A., Varelias, Antiopi, Vuckovic, Slavica, Le Texier, Laetitia, Gartlan, Kate H., Zhang, Ping, Thomas, Gethin, Anderson, Lisa, Boyle, Glen, Cloonan, Nicole, Leach, Justine, Sturgeon, Elise, Avery, Judy, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Misra, Ashish K., Hutchins, Cheryl, Morton, A. James, Durrant, Simon T. S., Subramoniapillai, Elango, Butler, Jason P., Curley, Cameron I., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Tey, Siok-Keen and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2014) Addition of interleukin-6 inhibition with tocilizumab to standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation: a phase 1/2 trial. The Lancet Oncology, 15 13: 1451-1459. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71017-4

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Background

    Viral infection and reactivation following stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a common complication following this procedure, which is performed for the treatment of blood cancers. One such pathogen is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common community-acquired infection that leads to significant morbidity in immunocompromised SCT patients. Current treatment strategies for patients infected with RSV is the use of anti-viral agents however these are ineffective. Thus, this complication remains a significant clinical problem where new treatments are desperately needed. To address this, a better understanding of the immunological mechanisms that underlie this disease are essential.

    Aims

    The specific aim of this project is to establish a robust model of RSV infection in the stem cell transplant setting using Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM), the murine relative of RSV. This will enable the contribution of host innate and acquired mucosal immune responses to the viral infection to be dissected.

    Approaches / Techniques to be utilised

    This project is not limited to, but will involve, extensive animal work, flow cytometry, immunological assays, molecular and viral techniques.

    This project is suitable for Honours, Masters and PhD students. Please contact Dr Varelias (antiopi.varelias@qimrberghofer.edu.au) for further details.

  • Background

    To date, stem cell transplantation (SCT) remains the preferred treatment option for the majority of blood cancers. Chemotherapy/radiation during conditioning damages intestinal epithelium resulting in systemic exposure to microbial products normally sequestered in the intestinal lumen, in addition to a marked cytokine release. We have demonstrated that these microbial products and cytokines modulate graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and thereby transplant outcome. Numerous approaches in the clinic targeting intestinal microbiota to harness GVHD such as gut decontaminating antibiotics, introduction of beneficial bacteria or targeting anaerobic bacteria have been attempted but these have shown varied effects. A greater understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these approaches will inform of new strategies that could be adopted to protect against unrestrained immune activation and GVHD. Recently, we demonstrated that mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, activated in response to engagement with microbial-derived riboflavin derivatives loaded onto MR1 ligands, protected against intestinal acute GVHD.

    Aims

    The overall aim of this project is to further investigate the host innate immune response and its interaction with intestinal microbiota during homeostasis and in acute GVHD.

    Approaches / Techniques to be utilised

    This project is not limited to, but will involve, extensive animal work, flow cytometry, immunological assays, molecular and microbiological techniques.

    This project is suitable for Honours, Masters and PhD students. Please contact Dr Varelias (antiopi.varelias@qimrberghofer.edu.au) for further details.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Wilkinson, Andrew N., Olver, Stuart D., Samson, Luke D., Tey, Siok-Keen, MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2019) Expansion of IL-17A-secreting CD8 + mucosa-associated invariant T cells in peripheral blood following stem cell mobilization. Blood Advances, 3 5: 718-723. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025601

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Bunting, Mark D., Ormerod, Kate L., Koyama, Motoko, Olver, Stuart D., Straube, Jasmin, Kuns, Rachel D., Robb, Renee J., Henden, Andrea S., Cooper, Leanne, Lachner, Nancy, Gartlan, Kate H., Lantz, Olivier, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Fairlie, David P., Clouston, Andrew D., McCluskey, James, Rossjohn, Jamie, Lane, Steven W., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2018) Recipient mucosal-associated invariant T cells control GVHD within the colon. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 128 5: 1919-1936. doi:10.1172/JCI91646

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Ormerod, Kate L., Bunting, Mark D., Koyama, Motoko, Gartlan, Kate H., Kuns, Rachel D., Lachner, Nancy, Locke, Kelly R., Lim, Chun Y., Henden, Andrea S., Zhang, Ping, Clouston, Andrew D., Hasnain, Sumaira Z., McGuckin, Michael A., Blazar, Bruce R., MacDonald, Kelli P. A ., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) Acute graft-versus-host disease is regulated by an IL-17-sensitive microbiome. Blood, 129 15: 2172-2185. doi:10.1182/blood-2016-08-732628

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Kreijveld, Ellen, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Kuns, Rachel D., Lineburg, Katie E., Teal, Bianca E., Raffelt, Neil C., Cheong, Melody, Alexander, Kylie A., Koyama, Motoko, Markey, Kate A., Sturgeon, Elise, Leach, Justine, Reddy, Pavan, Kennedy, Glen A., Yanik, Gregory A., Blazar, Bruce R., Tey, Siok-Keen, Clouston, Andrew D., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Cooke, Kenneth R. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2015) Lung parenchyma-derived IL-6 promotes IL-17A-dependent acute lung injury after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Blood, 125 15: 2435-2444. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-07-590232

  • Kennedy, Glen A., Varelias, Antiopi, Vuckovic, Slavica, Le Texier, Laetitia, Gartlan, Kate H., Zhang, Ping, Thomas, Gethin, Anderson, Lisa, Boyle, Glen, Cloonan, Nicole, Leach, Justine, Sturgeon, Elise, Avery, Judy, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Misra, Ashish K., Hutchins, Cheryl, Morton, A. James, Durrant, Simon T. S., Subramoniapillai, Elango, Butler, Jason P., Curley, Cameron I., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Tey, Siok-Keen and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2014) Addition of interleukin-6 inhibition with tocilizumab to standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation: a phase 1/2 trial. The Lancet Oncology, 15 13: 1451-1459. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71017-4

Journal Article

  • Yan, Juming, Allen, Stacey, McDonald, Elizabeth, Das, Indrajit, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Liu, Ligong, Fairlie, David P., Meehan, Bronwyn S., Chen, Zhenjun, Corbett, Alexandra J., Varelias, Antiopi, Smyth, Mark J. and Teng, Michele W. L. (2020) MAIT cells promote tumor initiation, growth and metastases via tumor MR1. Cancer Discovery, . doi:10.1158/2159-8290.cd-19-0569

  • Andersen, Sarah, Staudacher, Heidi, Weber, Nicholas, Kennedy, Glen, Varelias, Antiopi, Banks, Merrilyn and Bauer, Judy (2019) Pilot study investigating the effect of enteral and parenteral nutrition on the gastrointestinal microbiome post‐allogeneic transplantation. British Journal of Haematology, . doi:10.1111/bjh.16218

  • Wilkinson, Andrew N., Chang, Karshing, Kuns, Rachel D., Henden, Andrea S., Minnie, Simone A., Ensbey, Kathleen S., Clouston, Andrew D., Zhang, Ping, Koyama, Motoko, Hidalgo, Juan, Rose-John, Stefan, Varelias, Antiopi, Vuckovic, Slavica, Gartlan, Kate H. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2019) IL-6 dysregulation originates in dendritic cells and initiates graft-versus-host disease via classical signaling. Blood, . doi:10.1182/blood.2019000396

  • Ullah, Md Ashik, Vicente, Cristina T., Collinson, Natasha, Curren, Bodie, Sikder, Md Al Amin, Sebina, Ismail, Simpson, Jennifer, Varelias, Antiopi, Lindquist, Jonathan A., Ferreira, Manuel A. R. and Phipps, Simon (2019) PAG1 limits allergen-induced type 2 inflammation in the murine lung. Allergy, . doi:10.1111/all.13991

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Wilkinson, Andrew N., Olver, Stuart D., Samson, Luke D., Tey, Siok-Keen, MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2019) Expansion of IL-17A-secreting CD8 + mucosa-associated invariant T cells in peripheral blood following stem cell mobilization. Blood Advances, 3 5: 718-723. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025601

  • Zhang, Ping, Raju, Jyothy, Ullah, Md Ashik, Au, Raymond, Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H, Olver, Stuart D., Samson, Luke D., Sturgeon, Elise, Zomerdijk, Nienke, Avery, Judy, Gargett, Tessa, Brown, Michael P., Coin, Lachlan J., Ganesamoorthy, Devika, Hutchins, Cheryl, Pratt, Gary R, Kennedy, Glen A., Morton, A. James, Curley, Cameron I., Hill, Geoffrey R. and Tey, Siok-Keen (2019) Phase I trial of inducible caspase 9 T cells in adult stem cell transplant demonstrates massive clonotypic proliferative potential and long-term persistence of transgenic T cells. Clinical Cancer Research, 25 6: 1749-1755. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-3069

  • Vuckovic, Slavica, Minnie, Simone A., Smith, David, Gartlan, Kate H., Watkins, Thomas S., Markey, Kate A., Mukhopadhyay, Pamela, Guillerey, Camille, Kuns, Rachel D., Locke, Kelly R., Pritchard, Antonia L., Johansson, Peter A., Varelias, Antiopi, Zhang, Ping, Huntington, Nicholas D., Waddell, Nicola, Chesi, Marta, Miles, John J., Smyth, Mark J. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2018) Bone marrow transplantation generates T cell–dependent control of myeloma in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 129 1: 106-121. doi:10.1172/jci98888

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Bunting, Mark D., Ormerod, Kate L., Koyama, Motoko, Olver, Stuart D., Straube, Jasmin, Kuns, Rachel D., Robb, Renee J., Henden, Andrea S., Cooper, Leanne, Lachner, Nancy, Gartlan, Kate H., Lantz, Olivier, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Fairlie, David P., Clouston, Andrew D., McCluskey, James, Rossjohn, Jamie, Lane, Steven W., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2018) Recipient mucosal-associated invariant T cells control GVHD within the colon. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 128 5: 1919-1936. doi:10.1172/JCI91646

  • Catchpoole, Elizabeth M., Thirunavukarasu, Caitlin E., Varelias, Antiopi, Schlebusch, Sanmarié, Olver, Stuart, Zomerdijk, Nienke, Osland, Emma, Kennedy, Glen A., Tey, Siok-Keen, Hill, Geoffrey R. and Markey, Kate A. (2018) Early blood stream infection after BMT is associated with cytokine dysregulation and poor overall survival. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 24 7: 1360-1366. doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.02.025

  • Gartlan, Kate H., Bommiasamy, Hemamalini, Paz, Katelyn, Wilkinson, Andrew N., Owen, Mary, Reichenbach, Dawn K., Banovic, Tatjana, Wehner, Kimberly, Buchanan, Faith, Varelias, Antiopi, Kuns, Rachel D., Chang, Karshing, Fedoriw, Yuri, Shea, Thomas, Coghill, James, Zaiken, Michael, Plank, Maximilian W., Foster, Paul S., Clouston, Andrew D., Blazar, Bruce R., Serody, Jonathan S. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) A critical role for donor-derived IL-22 in cutaneous chronic GVHD. American Journal of Transplantation , 18 4: 810-820. doi:10.1111/ajt.14513

  • Gartlan, Kate H., Varelias, Antiopi, Koyama, Motoko, Robb, Renee J., Markey, Kate A., Chang, Karshing, Wilkinson, Andrew N., Smith, David, Ullah, Md Ashik, Kuns, Rachel D., Raffelt, Neil C., Olver, Stuart D., Lineburg, Katie E., Teal, Bianca E., Cheong, Melody, Teng, Michele W. L., Smyth, Mark J., Tey, Siok-Keen, MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) Th17 plasticity and transition toward a pathogenic cytokine signature are regulated by cyclosporine after allogeneic SCT. Blood Advances, 1 6: 341-351. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2016002980

  • Bunting, Mark D., Varelias, Antiopi, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Fernando, Schuster, Iona S., Lineburg, Katie E., Kuns, Rachel D., Fleming, Peter, Locke, Kelly R., Huntington, Nicholas D., Blazar, Bruce R., Lane, Steven W., Tey, Siok-Keen, MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Smyth, Mark J., Degli-Esposti, Mariapia A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) GVHD prevents NK-cell-dependent leukemia and virus-specific innate immunity. Blood, 129 5: 630-642. doi:10.1182/blood-2016-08-734020

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Ormerod, Kate L., Bunting, Mark D., Koyama, Motoko, Gartlan, Kate H., Kuns, Rachel D., Lachner, Nancy, Locke, Kelly R., Lim, Chun Y., Henden, Andrea S., Zhang, Ping, Clouston, Andrew D., Hasnain, Sumaira Z., McGuckin, Michael A., Blazar, Bruce R., MacDonald, Kelli P. A ., Hugenholtz, Philip and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2017) Acute graft-versus-host disease is regulated by an IL-17-sensitive microbiome. Blood, 129 15: 2172-2185. doi:10.1182/blood-2016-08-732628

  • Tey, S-K, Vuckovic, S., Varelias, A., Martins, J. P., Olver, S., Samson, L., Sturgeon, E., Leach, J., Avery, J., Nakagaki, M., Butler, J. P., Curley, C., Morton, A. J., Durrant, S. T., Kennedy, G. A. and Hill, G. R. (2016) Pharmacokinetics and immunological outcomes of alemtuzumab-based treatment for steroid-refractory acute GvHD. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 51 8: 1153-1155. doi:10.1038/bmt.2016.83

  • Sheel, Meru, Beattie, Lynette, Frame, Teija C. M., Rivera, Fabian de Labastida, Faleiro, Rebecca J., Bunn, Patrick T., de Oca, Marcela Montes, Edwards, Chelsea L., Ng, Susanna S., Kumar, Rajiv, Amante, Fiona H., Best, Shannon E., McColl, Shaun R., Varelias, Antiopi, Kuns, Rachel D., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Smyth, Mark J., Haque, Ashraful, Hill, Geoff R. and Engwerda, Christian R. (2015) IL-17A-Producing gamma delta T Cells Suppress Early Control of Parasite Growth by Monocytes in the Liver. Journal of Immunology, 195 12: 5707-5717. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1501046

  • Gartlan, Kate H., Markey, Kate A., Varelias, Antiopi, Bunting, Mark D., Koyama, Motoko, Kuns, Rachel D., Raffelt, Neil C., Olver, Stuart D., Lineburg, Katie E., Cheong, Melody, Teal, Bianca E., Lor, Mary, Comerford, Iain, Teng, Michele W. L., Smyth, Mark J., McCluskey, James, Rossjohn, Jamie, Stockinger, Brigitta, Boyle, Glen M., Lane, Steven W., Clouston, Andrew D., McColl, Shaun R., MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2015) Tc17 cells are a proinflammatory, plastic lineage of pathogenic CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells that induce GVHD without antileukemic effects. Blood, 126 13: 1609-1620. doi:10.1182/blood-2015-01-622662

  • Koyama, Motoko, Cheong, Melody, Markey, Kate A., Gartlan, Kate H., Kuns, Rachel D., Locke, Kelly R., Lineburg, Katie E., Teal, Bianca E., Leveque-El Mouttie, Lucie, Bunting, Mark D., Vuckovic, Slavica, Zhang, Ping, Teng, Michele W. L., Varelias, Antiopi, Tey, Siok-Keen, Wockner, Leesa F., Engwerda, Christian R., Smyth, Mark J., Belz, Gabrielle T., McColl, Shaun R., MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2015) Donor colonic CD103(+) dendritic cells determine the severity of acute graft-versus-host disease. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 212 8: 1303-1321. doi:10.1084/jem.20150329

  • Varelias, Antiopi, Gartlan, Kate H., Kreijveld, Ellen, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Kuns, Rachel D., Lineburg, Katie E., Teal, Bianca E., Raffelt, Neil C., Cheong, Melody, Alexander, Kylie A., Koyama, Motoko, Markey, Kate A., Sturgeon, Elise, Leach, Justine, Reddy, Pavan, Kennedy, Glen A., Yanik, Gregory A., Blazar, Bruce R., Tey, Siok-Keen, Clouston, Andrew D., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Cooke, Kenneth R. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2015) Lung parenchyma-derived IL-6 promotes IL-17A-dependent acute lung injury after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Blood, 125 15: 2435-2444. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-07-590232

  • Kennedy, Glen A., Varelias, Antiopi, Vuckovic, Slavica, Le Texier, Laetitia, Gartlan, Kate H., Zhang, Ping, Thomas, Gethin, Anderson, Lisa, Boyle, Glen, Cloonan, Nicole, Leach, Justine, Sturgeon, Elise, Avery, Judy, Olver, Stuart D., Lor, Mary, Misra, Ashish K., Hutchins, Cheryl, Morton, A. James, Durrant, Simon T. S., Subramoniapillai, Elango, Butler, Jason P., Curley, Cameron I., MacDonald, Kelli P. A., Tey, Siok-Keen and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2014) Addition of interleukin-6 inhibition with tocilizumab to standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation: a phase 1/2 trial. The Lancet Oncology, 15 13: 1451-1459. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71017-4

  • Alexander K.A., Flynn R., Lineburg K.E., Kuns R.D., Teal B.E., Olver S.D., Lor M., Raffelt N.C., Koyama M., Leveque L., Le Texier L., Melino M., Markey K.A., Varelias A., Engwerda C., Serody J.S., Janela B., Ginhoux F., Clouston A.D., Blazar B.R., Hill G.R. and MacDonald K.P.A. (2014) CSF-1-dependant donor-derived macrophages mediate chronic graft-versus-host disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124 10: 4266-4280. doi:10.1172/JCI75935

  • Haque, Ashraful, Best, Shannon E., De Oca, Marcela Montes, James, Kylie R., Ammerdorffer, Anne, Edwards, Chelsea L., De Labastida Rivera, Fabian, Amante, Fiona H., Bunn, Patrick T., Sheel, Meru, Sebina, Ismail, Koyama, Motoko, Varelias, Antiopi, Hertzog, Paul J., Kalinke, Ulrich, Gun, Sin Yee, Renia, Laurent, Ruedl, Christiane, MacDonald, Kelli P.A., Hill, Geoffrey R. and Engwerda, Christian R. (2014) Type I IFN signaling in CD8-DCs impairs Th1-dependent malaria immunity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124 6: 2483-2496. doi:10.1172/JCI70698

  • Zhang, Ping, Tey, Siok-Keen, Koyama, Motoko, Kuns, Rachel D., Olver, Stuart D., Lineburg, Katie E., Lor, Mary, Teal, Bianca E., Raffelt, Neil C., Raju, Jyothy, Leveque, Lucie, Markey, Kate A., Varelias, Antiopi, Clouston, Andrew D., Lane, Steven W., Macdonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2013) Induced regulatory T cells promote tolerance when stabilized by rapamycin and IL-2 in vivo. Journal of Immunology, 191 10: 5291-5303. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1301181

  • Koyama, Motoko, Kuns, Rachel D., Olver, Stuart D., Lineburg, Katie E., Lor, Mary, Teal, Bianca E., Raffelt, Neil C., Leveque, Lucie, Chan, Christopher J., Robb, Renee J., Markey, Kate A., Alexander, Kylie A., Varelias, Antiopi, Clouston, Andrew D., Smyth, Mark J., MacDonald, Kelli P.A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2013) Promoting regulation via the inhibition of DNAM-1 after transplantation. Blood, 121 17: 3511-3520. doi:10.1182/blood-2012-07-444026

  • Robb, R.J., Lineburg, K.E., Kuns, R.D., Wilson, Y.A., Raffelt, N.C., Olver, S.D., Varelias, A., Alexander, K.A., Teal, B.E., Sparwasser, T., Hammerling, G.J., Markey, K.A., Koyama, M., Clouston, A.D., Engwerda, C.R., Hill, G.R. and MacDonald, K.P.A. (2012) Identification and expansion of highly suppressive CD8 +FoxP3 + regulatory T cells after experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Blood, 119 24: 5898-5908. doi:10.1182/blood-2011-12-396119

  • Markey, Kate A., Koyama, Motoko, Kuns, Rachel D., Lineburg, Katie E., Wilson, Yana A., Olver, Stuart D., Raffelt, Neil C., Don, Alistair L. J., Varelias, Antiopi, Robb, Renee J., Cheong, Melody, Engwerda, Christian R., Steptoe, Raymond J., Ramshaw, Hayley S., Lopez, Angel F., Vega-Ramos, Javier, Lew, Andrew M., Villadangos, Jose A., Hill, Geoffrey R. and MacDonald, Kelli P. A. (2012) Immune insufficiency during GVHD is due to defective antigen presentation within dendritic cell subsets. Blood, 119 24: 5918-5930. doi:10.1182/blood-2011-12-398164

  • Koyama, Motoko, Kuns, Rachel D., Olver, Stuart D., Raffelt, Neil C., Wilson, Yana A., Don, Alistair L. J., Lineburg, Katie E., Cheong, Melody, Robb, Renee J., Markey, Kate A., Varelias, Antiopi, Malissen, Bernard, Hammerling, Gunter J., Clouston, Andrew D., Engwerda, Christian R., Bhat, Purnima, MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2012) Recipient nonhematopoietic antigen-presenting cells are sufficient to induce lethal acute graft-versus-host disease. Nature Medicine, 18 1: 135-142. doi:10.1038/nm.2597

  • Robb, Renee J., Kreijveld, Ellen, Kuns, Rachel D., Wilson, Yana A., Olver, Stuart D., Don, Alistair L. J., Raffelt, Neil C., De Weerd, Nicole A., Lineburg, Katie E., Varelias, Antiopi, Markey, Kate A., Koyama, Motoko, Clouston, Andrew D., Hertzog, Paul J., MacDonald, Kelli P. A. and Hill, Geoffrey R. (2011) Type I-IFNs control GVHD and GVL responses after transplantation. Blood, 118 12: 3399-3409. doi:10.1182/blood-2010-12-325746

  • Hill, Geoffrey R., Olver, Stuart D., Kuns, Rachel D., Varelias, Antiopi, Raffelt, Neil C., Don, Alistair L., Markey, Kate A., Wilson, Yana A., Smyth, Mark J., Iwakura, Yoichiro, Tocker, Joel, Clouston, Andrew D. and MacDonald, Kelli P. A. (2010) Stem cell mobilization with G-CSF induces type 17 differentiation and promotes scleroderma. Blood, 116 5: 819-828. doi:10.1182/blood-2009-11-256495

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Background

    Viral infection and reactivation following stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a common complication following this procedure, which is performed for the treatment of blood cancers. One such pathogen is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common community-acquired infection that leads to significant morbidity in immunocompromised SCT patients. Current treatment strategies for patients infected with RSV is the use of anti-viral agents however these are ineffective. Thus, this complication remains a significant clinical problem where new treatments are desperately needed. To address this, a better understanding of the immunological mechanisms that underlie this disease are essential.

    Aims

    The specific aim of this project is to establish a robust model of RSV infection in the stem cell transplant setting using Pneumonia Virus of Mice (PVM), the murine relative of RSV. This will enable the contribution of host innate and acquired mucosal immune responses to the viral infection to be dissected.

    Approaches / Techniques to be utilised

    This project is not limited to, but will involve, extensive animal work, flow cytometry, immunological assays, molecular and viral techniques.

    This project is suitable for Honours, Masters and PhD students. Please contact Dr Varelias (antiopi.varelias@qimrberghofer.edu.au) for further details.

  • Background

    To date, stem cell transplantation (SCT) remains the preferred treatment option for the majority of blood cancers. Chemotherapy/radiation during conditioning damages intestinal epithelium resulting in systemic exposure to microbial products normally sequestered in the intestinal lumen, in addition to a marked cytokine release. We have demonstrated that these microbial products and cytokines modulate graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and thereby transplant outcome. Numerous approaches in the clinic targeting intestinal microbiota to harness GVHD such as gut decontaminating antibiotics, introduction of beneficial bacteria or targeting anaerobic bacteria have been attempted but these have shown varied effects. A greater understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these approaches will inform of new strategies that could be adopted to protect against unrestrained immune activation and GVHD. Recently, we demonstrated that mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, activated in response to engagement with microbial-derived riboflavin derivatives loaded onto MR1 ligands, protected against intestinal acute GVHD.

    Aims

    The overall aim of this project is to further investigate the host innate immune response and its interaction with intestinal microbiota during homeostasis and in acute GVHD.

    Approaches / Techniques to be utilised

    This project is not limited to, but will involve, extensive animal work, flow cytometry, immunological assays, molecular and microbiological techniques.

    This project is suitable for Honours, Masters and PhD students. Please contact Dr Varelias (antiopi.varelias@qimrberghofer.edu.au) for further details.