WEHI (The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research)

Associate Professor Joanna Groom

Associate Professor Joanna Groom is an NHMRC L1 Investigator fellow and laboratory head in the Immunology division of WEHI (the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute). Dr Groom’s research focuses on deciphering how cellular positioning and communication control immune responses, and how this can be leveraged to optimise clearance and protection from infection and cancer. This interest was piqued during her PhD, at the Garvan Institute, investigating the cellular signaling critical to lupus autoimmunity. She performed her postdoctoral research with Prof. Andrew Luster, a leader in chemokine biology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital (HMS/MGH). Here, she found that directed cell migration into lymphoid niches is intertwined with cell fate and function. Dr Groom’s team has made a series of advancements that enable 3D imaging of intact lymphoid organs and used this to discover the distinct niches that support the differentiation of effector and memory T cells.

The vision of the Groom lab is to understand lymphoid positioning and cellular interactions as key inflection points that direct the outcomes of immune responses. The aim is to continuously apply these fundamental insights to drive the generation of new therapies for the prevention and treatment of immunological and infectious disease and cancer. In achieving these impacts, the Groom lab will continue to build rich collaborative networks and mentor the next generation of curious, creative immunologists to take on new challenges to improve human health.

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