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Cellular Immunology

The research of Cellular Immunology group seeks to understand the roles of the many different cell types that make up the immune system, with a focus on unconventional and innate-like T cells.

Using tools such as flow cytometry, recombinant protein technology and transcriptome analysis, our researchers are able to learn how particular types of immune cells function in healthy individuals, and compare to how they act during an infection, autoimmunity, allergy and cancer.

The Cellular Immunology group is led by Dr. Dan Pellicci, who has spent the last 15 years working on innate-like and unconventional T cells – a large, yet relatively understudied, population of immune cells that show a greater degree of similarity between individuals compared to  ‘conventional’ helper and killer T cells. In particular, the group looks at T cells that respond to non-peptide antigens presented by CD1 molecules, and mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAIT) cells, which respond to bacterial riboflavin metabolites presented by MR1.

For more information on the work of the Cellular Immunology group, contact Dr Pellicci by email at

Group Members: 

Understanding the role of innate-like T cells in Tuberculosis

In collaboration with A/Prof. Justin Denholm (Peter Doherty Institute)

Examination of innate-like T cells in BCG-vaccinated individuals

In collaboration with Prof. Nigel Curtis, Dr. Nicole Messina (MCRI)

Investigation of thymic T cell development

In collaboration with Prof. Igor Konstantinov, Prof. Yves D’Udekem (MCRI/RCH)

Identification of immune biomarkers in paediatric heart transplant recipients

In collaboration with Prof. Igor Konstantinov, Dr. Adam Piers, A/Prof. Enzo Porrello (MCRI/RCH)

Immune cell characterisation in children with cystic fibrosis

In collaboration with Prof. Phil Sutton (MCRI)

Group A streptococcal human challenge study 

In collaboration with Prof. Andrew Steer, Josh Osowicki (MCRI)