Rossjohn Laboratory

Understanding immune function and dysfunction.

What We Do

The laboratory is currently investigating two broad, yet interrelated areas addressing pivotal molecular interactions in immunity: Our program is inter-linked to create a complete systematic study, namely host recognition, responses developed by the pathogen, and drug design to modulate and/or counteract these events.

Here we aim to provide a fundamental advancement of knowledge of events that are central to innate and adaptive immunity. Understanding the structural and biophysical basis of MHC-restriction, TCR engagement, the structural correlates of T-cell signalling is significant; they represent central questions in the field of adaptive immunity. Moreover, investigating the structural basis of T-cell allorecognition, and T-cell mediated autoimmunity, will collectively provide clear insights into immune dysfunction. In addition, focusing on generic components of innate immunity is important, as the mechanisms underlying innate recognition, is simply unknown.

Our Highlights

Recent Fellowship Success

  • Prof. Jamie Rossjohn Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Prof. Jamie Rossjohn Fellow of Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
  • Dr Jerome Le Nours ARC Future fellow.
  • Prof. Jamie Rossjohn ARC Australian Laureate Fellow
  • Dr Richard Berry NHMRC Career Development Fellow

Academia-Industry

  • Monash and Janssen Multi Year Research Collaboration

Mentorship

  • Future students

Our Current Projects

The academic research program within this laboratory is concerned with defining the key molecular interactiontts underlying receptor recognition events that are the primary determinants of innate and adaptive immunity. The laboratory’s research has provided an understanding of the basis of peptide, metabolite and lipid presentation, T-cell triggering, aberrant T-cell reactivity, monomorphic and polymorphic Natural Killer (NK) receptor recognition. The team’s research on anti-viral immunity has provided an understanding of the factors that shape MHC-restriction (e.g. Immunity, 2003, 2016; Nature Immunol, 2005, 2007, 2015). Moreover, we have demonstrated how the preTCR, 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), Celiac Disease (Immunity, 2012; NSMB, 2014) and HLA-linked drug hypersensitivities (Nature, 2012, NSMB 2014). Regarding innate and innatelike recognition, the team has shed light into how Natural Killer cell receptors interact with their cognate ligands (Nature 2011; J. Exp. Med. 2008 & 2016; Nature Immunol 2013; NSMB 2017; Cell 2017). Further, we have provided fundamental insight into how T cells recognise lipid-based antigens in the context of protective and aberrant immunity (Nature, 2007; Nature Immunol 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 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 (Nature 2012, 2014; Nat Commun 2012; Nat Immunol 2016; Nat Immunol, 2017). The industrial research program of the laboratory includes a close collaboration with Janssen (one of the Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson), for the development of new therapies to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psorasis.

Research Projects

  • MHC-restricted protective immunity

  • T-cell autoimmunity and alloreactivity

  • HLA-linked drug hypersensitivities

  • Lipid-mediated immunity

  • Metabolite-mediated immunity

  • NK cell recognition

  • T-cell signalling machinery

  • ...and many more

Monash extends collaboration with Janssen on psoriasis prevention

Monash University announced an extension of its collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, where researchers will investigate triggers of the immune-mediated disease, psoriasis, and focus on the discovery of potential new treatment approaches to prevent psoriasis. Professor Jamie Rossjohn, from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Faculty of […]

Revealed: our cellular guardians

Everyone has a unique identity and awareness of ‘self’ – and this identity has a biological counterpart at the cellular level. This cellular ‘awareness’ is mediated by genes in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) family, and these genes are the reason, for example, that transplanted organs are rejected unless efforts are made to match HLA […]

Sweet success for A/Prof Stephanie Gras

Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute researcher Associate Professor Stephanie Gras has been honoured with a Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science for excellence in the field. Group leader and Monash Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she was one of three women who won the award, which […]

Jamie Rossjohn elected into the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Monash University researcher Professor Jamie Rossjohn has been formally inducted into the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). Being elected as a Fellow honours the important contribution Professor Rossjohn has made to health and medical research in Australia. Professor Rossjohn, ARC Laureate Fellow, is recognised internationally for being at the […]