Rossjohn Laboratory

Understanding immune function and dysfunction.

Professor Jamie Rossjohn

Professor Jamie Rossjohn’s research is centered on an understanding immunity. He is currently an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow (2017-2021) and previously a NHMRC Australia Fellow (2011-2016) and ARC Federation Fellow (2007-11). He is the Head of the Infection and Immunity Program of the Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Prof. Rossjohn is known for his contributions to the understanding the molecular basis underpinning immunity. He has used structural biology to explain pre-T- cell receptor (TCR) self-association in T-cell development, and how the TCR specifically recognises polymorphic Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) molecules in the context of viral immunity and aberrant T- cell reactivity.

He has unearthed structural mechanisms of HLA polymorphism impacting on drug and food hypersensitivities, as well as Natural Killer cell receptor recognition. He has pioneered our molecular understanding of lipid-based immunity by T cells, revealing that it can differ fundamentally from peptide-mediated adaptive immunity.

Recently he has provided a structural basis of how vitamin B metabolites can be presented and recognised by the immune system, revealing a new class of antigen. Collectively, he has published > 300 papers and mentored numerous researchers towards obtaining higher degrees and nationally competitive fellowships.

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

Jamie and Erica join Jon Faine on The Conversation Hour

Word nerd David Astle is Jon Faine’s co-host.  He is a cruciverbalist, author, columnist, and star of the inexplicably discontinued Letters and Numbers (SBS TV). His books include Wordburger, Riddledom, Cluetopia, Puzzled, and most recently David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words Puzzles, games and stories for wordy whiz-kids! David will be presenting Evenings, ABC Radio Melbourne & Victoria for a couple of weeks from next Wednesday. […]

Bringing the magic of biomedical research to the low vision community

Outreach programs at universities often involve displays, exhibitions, lectures and other forms of public engagement.  Researchers within the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) are developing an innovative program targeted at those who have low vision or are blind, by hosting a Sensory Scientific Exhibition and Discovery Day at Monash University Clayton on Thursday 31 May, 2018. Complete with […]

The Age reporter, Liam meets Jamie, Sabrina and Erica

Science relies on light. What about people who can’t see? Working out how to harness light has brought extraordinary advances. Microscopes can now see the innards of a cell. Space-based telescopes can see millions of years back in time. The pictures they beam back to Earth are beautiful. To those with limited vision, this beauty […]

postdoc

Gabby and Erica on ‘Talking Vision’ about the Sensory Scientific Exhibition & Discovery Day

This week we talk science with a conversation with Dr. Gabby Watson and Dr. Erica Tandori from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University about an open day at the end of May specifically designed for people who are blind or have low vision. The exhibition will include tactile, sound, olfactory and low vision accessible […]