News & events

Carola Vinuesa from ANU wins two top NHMRC awards

ANU Professor Carola Vinuesa, Co-Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, has been honoured as one of Australia's leading medical researchers with two prestigious awards from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

She was named as the NHMRC's top female researcher in biomedical science in 2016, winning a prized Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship for a second time. Professor Vinuesa was part of a team that also included Dr Anselm Enders and Dr Simon Jiang named the NHRMC's top Project Grant application.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC congratulated Professor Vinuesa on her latest award and her enormous contribution to medical research.

"In 2011, Carola was awarded an Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, named in honour of Elizabeth Blackburn who won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine. To be awarded a second Blackburn fellowship is an extraordinary achievement and testament to Carola's remarkable work at JCSMR.” Professor Schmidt said. Read more about Carola Vinuesa from ANU wins two top NHMRC awards

Discovery of brain-like activity in immune system promises better disease treatments

Lead researcher Ilenia Papa confirmed for the first time that human immune cells contain particles that have neurotransmitters including dopamine, which plays a crucial role in immune responses.

The research, published in Nature, involved a collaboration with members of a Human Frontier Science Program consortium from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, and with other researchers in Italy.

Co-researcher Professor Vinuesa said the new findings opened the door to using available drugs to improve therapies for lymphoma, autoimmunity and immunodeficiency disorders.

To view the full story please click here Read more about Discovery of brain-like activity in immune system promises better disease treatments

Research at the Centre for Personalised Immunology named the NHRMC's Top Project Grant application

Professor Vinuesa, from The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), was part of a team that also included Dr Anselm Enders and Dr Simon Jiang named the NHRMC's top Project Grant application.

Professor Vinuesa is the Co-Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, where she has helped pioneer research into personalised medicine, using genetic sequences to tailor treatments for patients with systemic lupus and related autoimmune diseases. Read more about Research at the Centre for Personalised Immunology named the NHRMC's Top Project Grant application

China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology launch

On 25 May 2016, a delegation from China, including the President of Renji Hospital, Professor Li Weiping, visited The John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU, Canberra, Australia) to unveil a plaque commemorating the official launch of the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology combined with a tour of the facilities. This is a strategic alliance between the CPI and Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine that has been established, offering many opportunities for collaboration between the two centres. The Renji hospital is refitting a large laboratory over two floors for use by CPI staff and dedicated Chinese staff, as well as providing significant funding support over six years for staff, students and consumables for use in the China laboratory. Congratulations to CPI Director Professor Carola Vinuesa, who has been awarded a prestigious International Expert Fellowship by The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People´s Republic of China. Read more about China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology launch

Mini-symposium for World Lupus Day

On Tuesday 10 May 2016, the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology will be holding a mini-symposium at the Renji Hospital affiliated with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (Shanghai, China) to celebrate World Lupus Day.

Professor Carola Vinuesa from the John Curtin School for Medical Research (JCSMR, Australian National University) is Co-director of the joint centre that was established in 2015 and will provide a keynote lecture "Towards molecular stratification of human autoimmune diseases." This will be followed by talks from Professor Matthew Cook and Professor David Fulcher from the JCSMR.

Pictured below: Professors Carola Vinuesa, Matthew Cook and David Fulcher

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Opening of the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology

In June 2015, Professor Carola Vinuesa, Professor Matthew Cook, Dr Di Yu and Dr Ed Bertram visited Shanghai Jiaotong School of Medicine to officially open the Joint Research Centre. Professor Vinuesa and Professor Cook presented a mini-symposium to eighty staff and students that was well received.

Professor Vinuesa and Professor Cook recorded a video of their plans for the joint Centre to present to the Director of Renji Hospital. The visiting Australian delegation were taken on a tour of the large biorepository at Renji Hospital that contains approximately two thousand autoimmune samples and a large space that will become the new Joint Research Centre laboratories. Dr Di Yu from Monash University has led the establishment of the laboratories.

This joint Centre provides the opportunity for China and Australia to collaboratively discover gene variants that cause autoimmune diseases.

Pictured: Professor Nan Shen, Professor Matthew Cook, Professor Carola Vinuesa, Dr Di Yu, Dr Edward Bertram Read more about Opening of the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology

Joint Centre Appoints Two New Junior Investigators

Professor Nan Shen has recently appointed two new investigators, Deng Jun and Qian Yuting, to the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology (CACPI). Professor Shen, is the Director of Shanghai Institute of Rheumatology, Ren Ji Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. His research mainly focuses on determining the molecular disease pathways in the systemic autoimmune disease, particularly lupus, using a functional genomics approach.

Professor Shen with Professor Vinuesa as co-directors, Dr Di Yu (Head of Molecular Immunomodulation, Monash University) and Professor Matthew Cook have led the establishment of the laboratories at Renji Hospital in Shanghai.

In the photo below is the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology (CACPI) offices, Renji Hospital, Shanghai – Prof Nan Shen, Deng Jun, research assistant, Qian Yuting, Dr Di Yu (L-R)

  Read more about Joint Centre Appoints Two New Junior Investigators

CPI enters into an agreement to establish a joint centre with China

Professor Simon Foote, Director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research and Professor Weiping Li, President of the Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for The Centre of Personalised Immunology and Shanghai Institute of Rheumatology, to facilitate cooperation towards the establishment of a Joint Research Centre for Personalised Immunology.  Based on principles of equity and reciprocity, this MoU will serve as a framework for cooperation between the two members of the joint research centre. CPI Director Professor Carola Vinuesa and Professor Nan Shen, Director of Shanghai Institute of Rheumatology will work together to progress the establishment of the joint centre.

"Bringing large patient cohorts together from different continents is essential for the discovery and validation of gene variants causing rare or complex diseases; those damaging variants are otherwise found at very low frequencies in the general population", said Professor Vinuesa. Read more about CPI enters into an agreement to establish a joint centre with China