Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti

Mariapia Degli-Esposti is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and heads the Immunology Division at the Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Western Australia. She is also the Director of Research at the Lions Eye Institute. She received a PhD in Immunology from the University of Western Australia and then conducted her postdoctoral studies at Immunex, Seattle. Since returning to Australia in 1998 she has held appointments as a Wellcome Trust and NHMRC Research Fellow. Her research has focused on understanding the regulation of complex immune responses, especially those elicited during chronic viral infection and autoimmunity. Over the last 15 years her laboratory has made a number of seminal contributions to understanding the interactions between innate and adaptive immune responses and how they contribute to the cause and potential treatments of diseases. Her laboratory described unexpected interactions between NK cells and dendritic cells and defined novel immunoregulatory functions of NK cells which affect the longevity of anti-viral responses thereby limiting immunopathology and autoimmunity. Her vision is to develop effective therapies, both cellular and gene therapy based, by harnessing the immune system to treat chronic viral infections and their complications in cancer, transplantation and autoimmunity.

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