Our Leadership Team
Professor Mathew Vadas AO
Professor Vadas trained in medicine at the University of Sydney and as a physician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before completing a doctorate at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. Read on...
Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth
Assistant Director, Head, T Cell Biology Group
Professor Fazekas trained in medicine at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before undertaking a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and postdoctoral studies at Stanford University. She returned to Australia in 1991 and set up her own laboratory studying the regulation of T lymphocyte responses in vivo, with particular application to autoimmune and allergic disease. Her current interests include the functions of dendritic cell subsets in directing the T cell immune response, and interactions between regulatory T cells and dendritic cells, with particular reference to inflammatory bowel disease.
Professor Warwick Britton
Assistant Director, Faculty and Head, Mycobacterial Group
Professor Britton graduated from the University of Sydney and trained in medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and in tropical medicine at the University of Liverpool. After working in a rural hospital in Nepal for three years, he developed an interest in tuberculosis and leprosy and undertook a PhD on the Immunology of Leprosy at the University of Sydney. He spent a further four years in Nepal establishing a research laboratory in a leprosy hospital near Kathmandu in order to apply the findings of modern research to improve the care of leprosy patients.Professor Britton returned to Australia in 1990 to establish the Mycobacterial Research Group in the Centenary Institute, where his research group studies the immunology of tuberculosis and leprosy, and works on the development of new vaccines against tuberculosis.
Dr Nick Pearce
Chief Operating Officer
Dr Pearce obtained a PhD in 1991 and a Master of Business Administration in 1994 from the University of Sydney. His PhD studies were undertaken at the University of Sydney and Stanford University in the field of transplantation immunology. On returning to Australia in 1991, Dr Pearce joined the Centenary Institute as a Postdoctoral Research Officer.
Dr Patrick J Bertolino
Head, Liver Immunology group
Dr Bertolino graduated from the University of Lyon in France and then trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne (1992-95) under the supervision of Prof J. Miller. He then moved back to France at the ENS-Lyon (1995-97) before settling in Sydney at the Centenary Institute in 1997. Dr Bertolino is internationally recognised as a world-leading expert in Liver Immunology. He has made major contributions related to the ability of the liver to induce tolerance in transplantation, and chronic HCV infection. His group uses transgenic mouse models, advanced imaging technology and flow cytometry to understand how T cells interact and are instructed by liver cells in both the healthy and diseased or transplanted liver.
Professor Jennifer Gamble
Head, Vascular Biology Group
Professor Gamble completed her Masters Degree at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and her PhD in 1994 at the University of Adelaide. During this time she was the first to describe the capacity of endothelial cells to be regulated by inflammatory cytokines thus exposing the endothelium as a major regulator of disease. She was a Founding Scientist of the Hanson Centre for Cancer Research (now Hanson Institute) in Adelaide and established the Vascular Biology group within the Institute. In 2007, Prof Gamble relocated to the Centenary Institute and has established the Vascular Biology group focusing her research effort on understanding the genetic regulation, including microRNA control of endothelial cell function and on the impact of senescence (or “ageing”) in disease. She is currently a Medical Foundation Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Sydney.
Associate Professor Mika Jormakka
Head, Structural Biology Group
Associate Professor Mika Jormakka completed his Masters Degree at Stockholm University and PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Professor So Iwata. During this time he had a particular focus on structure-function studies of membrane bound respiratory complexes. He subsequently obtained the prestigious EMBO Fellowship and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales, where he also determined the first membrane protein structure in Australia. In 2007, he relocated to the Centenary Institute and established the Structural Biology group, which today is focused on membrane transport in health and disease. He is currently a NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney.
Professor Geoff McCaughan
Faculty and Head, Liver Immunobiology Group
Professor McCaughan is head of the Liver Immunology group in the Centenary Institute. Upon completion of his postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford in 1986 as a CJ Martin Fellow, he returned to Sydney where he developed the basic research programme for the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital of which he is now the Director. His current research interests include the immunopathogenesis of human chronic liver disease, liver autoimmunity, liver transplant tolerance and molecular analysis of hepatitis C virus.
Professor John Rasko AO
Head, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Group
Professor Rasko is an internationally recognised researcher in the fields of gene transfer, stem and cancer cell biology. After completing his medical and haematology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he undertook PhD studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute under the supervision of Professor Don Metcalf. He subsequently spent three years at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle as a prestigious Damon Runyon Walter Winchell Foundation Fellow. In 1999 he returned to Australia to establish the Gene Therapy Laboratory at the Centenary Institute. He is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney; Senior Staff Haematologist at the Sydney Cancer Centre and Director of the Cell and Molecular Therapy Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Professor Christopher Semsarian
Head, Molecular Cardiology Group
Professor Semsarian is a molecular cardiologist with a strong research interest in genetic heart disorders, with a particular focus on sudden cardiac death in the young. After completing his medical and cardiology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he undertook a highly successful PhD in the field of striated muscle biology. Professor Semsarian continued his research in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Boston, before returning to the Centenary Institute in 2002 to establish and head the Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology.
Professor Wolfgang Weninger
Head, Immune Imaging Group
Professor Weninger received his training in clinical dermatology at the Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria (1992-1999). He then spent four years at Harvard Medical School, US, where he investigated the mechanisms of immune cell migration in vivo. Between 2003-2007, Professor Weninger was a Faculty member at the Wistar Institute and the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, US. Recently, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Dermatology, University of Sydney. Professor Weninger's research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of immune cell migration as well as immune cell interactions with pathogens and cancer cells. At Centenary his group makes use of advanced imaging technology, primarily intravital two-photon microscopy, in a variety of infectious and tumour models.
Associate Professor Pu Xia
Head, Signal Transduction Group
Associate Professor Xia is head of Signal Transduction research group at the Centenary Institute. After completing his medical and endocrinology training in Beijing, China, he spent three years at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral research fellow. In 1996 he moved to Australia and became a full-time basic scientist (from an endocrinologist) with a specific interest in cell signal transduction. He initiated the first Australian-based studies on sphingolipid signalling and has since made considerable contributions to the area. His research team has shown a consistent research profile being placed at the forefront of defining the signalling mechanisms of sphingosine kinase, characterising the functional structure of the enzyme and investigating its (patho-)physiologic implications in human diseases, specifically in cancer and diabetes.