Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Biomedicine
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
My research investigates the impact of various maternal immune perturbations on fetal immune programming during pregnancy and whether specific aberrations render the offspring more susceptible to autoimmune development later in life.
A key cell population of the immune system, referred to as T regulatory cells (Tregs), play a critical role in maintaining homeostasis and suppressing inflammatory responses. A reduced frequency of Tregs or a defect in function can therefore, trigger an autoimmune reaction. It is thought that various environmental influences, resulting in low maternal Tregs during early gestation, programs the developing fetal immune system on a trajectory to a less tolerogenic phenotype after birth, increasing the risk of autoimmunity.
Autoimmunity affects approximately 3-5% individuals world-wide, with females being significantly more susceptible and prevalence increasing in western societies. While emphasis on lifestyle choices during pregnancy is well established, little is known about the impact of immune perturbations during peri-conception and pre-implantation stages. Our research aims to explore this potentially susceptible niche and investigate whether alterations in the maternal immune profile at early gestational time points significantly influences fetal immune development and in turn, neonatal and adult disease outcomes.
Date Position Institution name 2021 - ongoing MPhil Candidate University of Adelaide
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2021 Scholarship Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Westpac Australia — 2021 Scholarship Research Training Program Stipend (RTPS) University of Adelaide Australia — 2020 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2019 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2019 Scholarship Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia — 2018 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award University of Adelaide Australia — 2018 Scholarship Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia —
Date Institution name Country Title 2018 - 2020 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Advanced)
Date Role Membership Country 2021 - ongoing Member Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) Australia
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