You are here

A chemical/biochemical study into vitamin B metabolite recognition.

The academic research program within this laboratory is focused on defining the key molecular interactions underlying receptor recognition events that are the primary determinants of immunity. The laboratory’s research has provided an understanding of the basis of peptide, metabolite and lipid presentation – events that underpin protective immunity and deleterious immune reactivity. The team’s research on anti-viral immunity has provided an understanding of the factors that shape MHC-restriction (e.g. Nature Immunology 2015; Immunity 2016), while also demonstrating how the pre-TCR, a receptor crucial for T-cell development, functions by autonomous dimerization (Nature, 2010). In relation to aberrant T-cell reactivity, our team has provided insight into alloreactivity (Immunity, 2009), Tregs and autoimmunity (Nature, 2017) Celiac Disease (Immunity, 2012, NSMB 2014), rheumatoid arthritis (JEM 2013) and HLA-linked drug hypersensitivities (Nature, 2012). Regarding innate and innate-like recognition, the team has shed light into how Natural Killer cell receptors (Nature, 2011, JEM 2016; NSMB 2017; Cell 2017 ) interact with their cognate ligands and viral immunoevasins. Further, we have provided fundamental insight into TCR recognition of lipid-based antigens in protective and aberrant immunity (e.g. Nature, 2007, Nature Immunology 2016, Nature Comms 2016). Most recently, our team identified the long sought after ligand for MAIT cells, namely showing that MAIT cells are activated by metabolites of vitamin B and can also respond to commonly prescribed therapeutics (Nature 2012, 2014, Nature Immunology 2016, 2017). Our research program uses numerous biochemical and biophysical techniques including protein expression and purification, surface plasmon resonance and three-dimensional structure determination with the use of the Australian Synchrotron. Further, cellular immunology techniques are taught within the laboratories of the collaborators of the Rossjohn laboratory. The industrial research program of the laboratory includes a close collaboration with Janssen, for the development of new therapies to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. The laboratory is funded by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging, Cancer Council Victoria, National Institutes of Health, Worldwide Cancer Research and Janssen. A large number of students and ECRs from this laboratory have been awarded various fellowships/honours including the Premier’s award, NHMRC Dora Lush Postgraduate research scholarships, NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowships, NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowships, NHMRC CDA fellowships, ARC QEII fellowship, EMBO fellowship and Victoria Fellowships. Honours scholarships and PhD top-up scholarships are available.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
vitamin B, immune recognition, metabolite, immunology, structural biology, crystals, proteins, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Year 1: 
Year 2: 
Year 3: 
Year 4: 
Physical location 
Clayton Campus

Want to apply for this project? Submit an Expression of Interest by clicking on Contact the researcher.